Back into the deep for two more days

Into the Deep Again

July 19, 2012 and July 20, 2012

            ARGH, it is hard to get up in the morning.  We have to leave earlier today as we are diving out of the far marina and it will take us a bit longer to get there.  Both Thursday and Friday are going to be out of the further marina so I’ll just include both days together as the days are pretty much the same, only the dive sites change!

We did manage to have a delicious breakfast with our host and hostess and 5 dogs and assorted chickens and roosters and ducks outside.  It is fun to watch them wander around and each animal has a history which we learn and appreciate.  Never gotten into birds in a big way but I do like to watch them.

Loading up the car again and we’re off and don’t get lost but thank goodness our hostess took us to the marina so we knew how to go.  We are able to get right onto the boat when we arrive and it seems as if most of the Japanese tourists have already arrived as well and the dive sites have been determined.  Again it will be drift dives.  Yesterday, after our two dives in the big blue by ourselves, we decided not to ask for and pay for a dive master.  We decided we were big kids now and could play in the ocean by ourselves and besides, it wasn’t like we have to navigate.  We didn’t have to make sure we could find the boat again so we thought we would be ok.

Listening to the main man that goes with the Japanese tourists, he knows a lot about the dive sites and where to find various cool things.  He says there are some anemones on this site with good fish so we will try to find it.  As we go into the water, we see him in the water with his group and try to follow but everybody swims faster than me.  I could win a “swim slow” non-race I think.  We head in the basic direction where we thought they disappeared and we do find some anemones.  I could easily sink to the bottom and watch the anemone fish for hours and have done so in the Philippines.  Here they are surrounded by a bit too much coral and very sad to say and very guiltily I say I did knock a chunk of coral.  I must do better on my buoyancy because I hate to hurt anything underwater.

Again, we are torn between the two dives.  One was so-so and the other was good, not great, but good.  We are finding a lot of small fish on most of the dives but not very many bigger ones and certainly not a lot of unusual ones.  Sometimes though, it takes several dives to see something that really thrills you and on one dive we did see an octopus.  I love octopi.  This one was sliding over some coral and as soon as he knew I had spotted him, he ducked under a ledge and wedged himself into the hole with just a bit of his mantle sticking out.  My hubby wasn’t as lucky and didn’t get the view that I got.  I tried to take some photos but he wasn’t having any of it and didn’t cooperate.  We left for a bit and he started to come out but he saw me start to come back and did his hiding thing again.

Seemed like there weren’t a lot of eels on this trip either.  We saw maybe 5 in total over 8 dives and that’s a pretty small number.  The corals on a couple of the dives were really great though.  Stacked on top of each other like ever decreasing discs.  Some of them were pretty awesome.  There were an odd array of sea cucumbers – different sizes, different colors and different skins.  And we also saw a crown of thorns starfish which is quite a destructive animal.  Usually there is a line of death behind it as it moves across a coral head or the sea floor.

Still not having a lot of good luck with my wrist light so on a couple of dives I took along my big dive light that I am used to using.  However, with the wrist light attached and the dive light and holding the camera, I have run out of hands to be efficient and streamlined.  How people handle the huge monstrosities of cameras and lights, I don’t know.  Plus those rigs are so expensive, I’m not sure I would ever take it into the water!

End of the dive and we have our new safety sausage to try.  I pull it out of the pouch and realize that the string is NOT attached to the sausage.  Guess I should have checked before getting into the water.  I make a knot and tie it onto the safety sausage and blow some air into the sausage from my regulator octopus rig and the sausage shoots to the surface and the string is unreeling quickly.  I am in danger of getting a rope burn or of getting tangled but we manage to get the sausage on the surface and the boat is heading our way when we are on top.

End of the second dive and I have not managed the safety sausage any better.  As I pull it out of the pouch, I am fighting the string as it tries to wrap around my fins and my legs.  Luckily I see this happening because it could really ruin my day if the sausage popped to the surface dragging me along with it before I did my safety stop.  I get untangled and we send the safety sausage on its way and then we are up and ready for the boat.

We dive from the same location the next day and it really would have been nice if we could have left some gear at the boat – locked in their shed – but they don’t operate that way.  Also, it seems as if most of their Japanese divers are good for one day.  Apparently a lot of the tourists from Japan come down for a shopping weekend or a shopping and diving 2 or 3 days so they don’t really have more than one day to dive.  At least at this marina, I spotted a large water barrel as we exited the boat and we were able to dunk all our gear into it and get it washed off before we put it in the trunk of the car.  Then when we got back to our bed and breakfast, we just spread it out on the stairs to dry.

There is a Del Taco close to the base that we pass on our way back to our BnB so we stop there whenever possible to get lunch.  We are hitting all the big ones here.  We stopped at Pizza Hut one night to eat as well.  We have the afternoons free but we’re not really interested in doing a lot.  I figure out we are going to have to make another K Mart run, sorry to say.  We drive around and around looking for it and stop at several different gas stations to get directions and this is after we had directions from our hostess but we turned the wrong way one time and that is enough to really screw you up on finding the K Mart so we had to postpone that lovely trip to another day.  When we finally got there, it was after 9 p.m. and the store was as busy as a back to school sale day!  I could just not believe that so many people go to K Mart.  There were several busloads of “fresh off the plane” tourists as well and every one of them had a cart full to the brim of stuff.  We did stock up on some vitamins and such that are expensive in the U.K. and did find some lovely Guam dried mangoes (from the Philippines!) and certainly managed to spend some bucks there but nothing like the tourists.  If I ever live in a country where everyday living costs are so expensive that a trip to another country to shop in K Mart is a good idea, then please let me be living on someone else’s money!  Please, please, please!

Another afternoon was spent looking for a place to get my husband a haircut.  He felt like he was getting a bit raggedy.  Luckily for me, my hair is pretty slow growing and I can go a long time between haircuts which is good since I can’t ever seem to get a good one.  We sauntered into the mall after eating at the pizza hut for lunch and found one place to cut his hair.  It turned into a marathon of haircutting with three people working on his head.  The first lady was just learning and my hubby made her a bit too nervous with his comments and NO don’t cut that and so forth.  The next person was a bit of a step up and I never learned why this person left but finally he got an experience technician who must have felt he had to spend a lot of time on cutting my hubby’s hair since his first two people didn’t do very well.  All in all, it was about 1 ½ hours waiting time for me and I wasn’t even in a really great mall so I wasn’t interested in hitting all the stores.  Mostly I sat and read and was bored.  You can only peruse the hair stylist magazines so long and 1 ½ hours is about 1 ¼ hours too long.

We have one more day of diving on Sat.  AND Sat is the 68th Liberation Day Celebration for Guam.  68 years since they were liberated from the Japanese.  It is a really big thing here with lots of parties and a huge parade down the main street.  Sat. we are diving in the afternoon rather than the morning.  So we will be able to see some of the parade.  Hurrah!.

We stopped back at MDA after the second day of diving when I realized I couldn’t safely control the string on the safety sausage.  It could well become the “bends” sausage or the “rip off the fins” or the “rope burn” sausage.  So we wanted to exchange this newly purchased sausage for one with a reel and a good rope, one that we could control as it comes off the vest and control as it goes to the surface.  Unfortunately, the one we are trying to bring back is wet, wet, wet and she doesn’t to exchange the wet one but tells us if we dry it off, we can bring it back in the morning and exchange it for the one with a reel.  We do that and have much better success on our third day using the safety sausage.  Yea!

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