Okay, we’re at Colony Cove in our condo. First, kudos to the staff here. Although I haven’t been here for a year, everything looks great – better than last year thanks to some minor improvements and repairs.
After a nasty travel day on Saturday, we got up on Sunday ready to dive. First stop was the Fredricsted Pier on the west side of the island. This is a shallow and easy dive. It’s also a wonderful place to see all sorts of neat stuff without working very hard. It was an opportunity to get our gear all checked out and make sure that stuff was working.
That’s me clowning around at the pier. We were able to park right on the pier – built for cruise ships that will never visit the city due to silly island politics. We took a long stride off the pier and headed off down the pier. This was my first dive in a year and the first time in two years that my gear has been out. My regs concerned me for a while, but about halfway into the dive everything settled down and started behaving – I have decided that I will replace them, though. Scuba West rented us tanks for $8 (same price as two years ago) and they still offer a $5 refill. The nice lady at the store also gave us a little discount just to be nice.
Mark has a new camera and an underwater housing, so he and John were both shooting pictures. Me? I was just diving. We saw all sorts of small marine life. We also saw the largest sea horse that I have ever seen.
All in all, a successful dive. Mark’s new camera housing bounced off of the rocks during our exit, but except for a small scratch, there was no harm done. We took the gear back and went home, spending the rest of the day goofing off and getting things set up for the week. It’s Tuesday morning – I JUST got the internet working properly (tuesday am). We have a wireless setup, but it’s being hogged by a few residents that NEVER log off, so it’s difficult to do anything. Until yesterday, I couldn’t get a response from the cable internet box in the living room. Yesterday, it woke up, but I didn’t have the password. The nice girl at the front desk didn’t either. I tried all sorts of stuff, and ended up getting one to work. I can upload pictures and videos now.
Here’s a video of a turtle that Mark took on Monday. John also took a nice one. You can see me “steering” the turtle towards Mark’s camera. I do not, and have never touched a sea turtle. This guy was a really casual turtle.
On Monday, we drove to Cane Bay, where we rented tanks and went out to dive the wall. Wow – we were out for over an hour. We never made it to the deep part, just hanging around the coral heads and enjoying the varied marine life. We saw a small hawksbill turtle and he happily let us film him for a while. We also saw a free-swimming green Moray eel.
We took this picture of him after he swam under some coral. He was out swimming when we first saw him. We ended up meeting him again later in the dive.
This was a great dive, even though we never got to the wall. We turned around when half of our air was gone and headed back to the starting point. I took an opportunity to swim through a little sandy canyon between two coral heads (something that I like to do). I dropped down and skimmed between the coral, looking under the coral and keeping my eyes peeled for lobster or little critters. I really should have been looking forward, because I found myself face to face with that eel again. We were both surprised (not a good position to be in). John was taking a video and happened to catch my meeting with the eel. You can see me swimming up and pointing at the eel and if you look carefully, it looks like the critter wanted a piece of me. Hmmmmm.[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8757619149967505635&hl=en]
Weird, huh? Anyway, it was a lot of fun. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Cane Bay beach, always intending to go in for another dive, but never really making it. After arriving home, John and I snorkeled out to the reef in front of our condo, where one can usually find all sorts of cool stuff to see. It’s a really long swim and we didn’t have time to do too much before we had to return. We could have stayed longer, but there were urchins everywhere, and the coming darkness guaranteed that there would be more. We had one long area to swim through that was perhaps less than two feet deep, so we left early to avoid a chance encounter with one of those pointy things in the shallows. Dinner next door at Smuggler’s Cove, a trip to the grocery store for breakfast stuff and then some energetic draining of various flavored rum bottles occupied the rest of the evening.
More to come….