Saturday, March 8, 2014

Diving Bookends

   Busy day! Up at 6:30, out the door by 7:30, at the dive shop by 8:00.
Quite possibly my worst day in the pool since my initial, panicky open water class experience. You see, when I slipped on the wet floor two weeks ago while carrying tanks, I wiped out, landed flat on my back, and thumped the back of my head on the concrete. I was more embarrassed than anything, and I felt fine. I even ran 7 miles that evening! But I wasn't fine... Two solid weeks of headaches, nausea, and oversleeping pretty much tells me all I need to know: concussion.
   My head hurt especially badly today, so much so that I nearly skipped class. But I tried to tough it out. All was fine until the gear exchange, which I've done before with Nick, and Scott teaching. Problem was, Sam adds the added challenge of buddy breathing. Yikes. And after a valiant attempt at it with Chris, a wet-breathing regulator shared between us, and several choking mouthfuls of water, I'd had it. Task-loading shut me down and I surfaced. Not a proud moment, but you learn from struggle.
   Fortunately the rest of the day was significantly more fun. I grabbed lunch with Michael and Tia at Chipotle, then met Britten & Rich for a hike on the Little Blue River trail. The dogs had been waiting VERY patiently in the car since 7:30 am, so their heads practically exploded with joy when they saw our friends and got on the trail.
   The trail passed under several bridges with cars zooming overhead, making sounds that must have been odd for the dogs, from their reactions. They could only see the very tops of the fast-moving cars from our angle, and I don't think they knew they were cars. Their hunter instincts kicked in & we could barely hold onto them, they wanted to run up there so badly. Frightening to think of them tangling with cars on the highway!
   We saw a pair of bluebirds, lots of deer tracks, and something strange: a Merlin had caught a mouse and was flying away with it, but suddenly dropped it as it passed us. The poor mostly-dead mouse bounced on the ground and lay still. Hopefully Mr. Merlin returned for his meal after we left and didn't waste the fat field mouse!
   The other cool thing we saw was a possum emerging at dusk, near the end of the three-hour hike. Of course the dogs went CRAZY when they saw it.
   After the hike it was back to the dive shop for a little party, and many of my Roatan friends were there. (Many had also recently returned from Belize and/or Palau, the lucky &@$#%*!!!) Their photos were amazing--particularly the ones from Jellyfish Lake: inland, brackish water, where the 5-8 million jellyfish have no predators and have evolved without the power to sting! Their ocean photos were full of brightly colored clown fish and anemones… A true paradise.
   The party was great fun, to talk dive experiences and locations, and just to catch up again with this fun group of people. Not the least of which being the infamous Jeff and Marty, the couple whom I want to be when I grow up. And by that I mean IF I grow up. Because they're in their 70s, and they haven't yet!
   To top off the full day we hit Joe's Crab Shack for some crab legs and beer. I'd rather see a shark in the water than on the ceiling, but this was the best we could do today. :)