Sunday, May 13, 2007

The world under the waves

Thursday was scuba day. The company I signed up with has you practice first in a swimming pool on an Airforce base. Jeremy dropped me off on his way to work and we managed to find the pool with directions that were literally "follow the road, veer right, then veer left, then turn left, turn right, and turn left." It was its own kind of miracle. There were two other guys in the class. I'm pretty sure they were a gay couple but I never managed to work it into the conversation so I don't know for sure (evidence: two guys from San Diego, travelling to Hawaii together for a week's vacation in the middle of May, same home address (I stole a look at their info when we signed out release forms), one with pierced ears, their sunglasses were Diesel and Versace, and when I mentioned that I had been watching the first season of Desperate Housewives on my flight out, they just laughed and nodded with understanding. Case closed). After practicing in the pool, we headed out to the actual dive sites in the bay on the other side of Diamondhead from Honolulu. On the boat were also two certified divers renting equipment from the same company that was taking me and two other guys who were doing their own thing.

Scuba diving is amazing, and if I lived somewhere that had ample opportunity, I would get certified and do it all the time. And its really easy, at least the basic stuff is. We suited up at the first dive site, jumped in and pulled our way to the bottom using the rope that was anchoring the boat above us. Immediately we found a sea turtle hanging out under a coral cliff. From there it was just cooler and cooler. All kinds of fish, some translucently colored, others that were all black or bright yellow. Really neat eels poked out from between corals. It was all just amazing, and over too soon. As beginners, we had to stay with our guide and head back up as soon as we got to 1000 on our gauges, which is still 400 above the red zone. In all we were down for around 35 minutes or so. We made our way back to the boat and waited for the more experienced people to come back. The two guys renting equipment with the company got back on board and one of them proceeded very quickly to begin puking. And boy howdy did he puke. I don't know how much he ate, but it must have been a lot, because he just repeatedly pulled up heave after chunky heave. We headed for the second site once the two other guys who were doing their own thing made it back. The three beginners suited up and jumped back in for another round of exploration. This time I saw a sea turtle that was swimming around, not just hanging out, though it was swimming away from us and the guide had to tell me to get back to the group. It was more amazing sights that hopefully will have been captured by my underwater camera (keep a watch at Facebook for them). Again, all too rapidly we headed back for the surface. I was surprised to see that Pukey McPukerson had gone down for the second dive after we had left the boat. Maybe it was a good idea to have at least a little bit of calm time, because as soon as he got detached from his tank, he was over the side with another load of fish food. It was actually fairly impressive, the amount of food he could sick up. But we headed back to land quickly and he recovered once we were in motion rather than tossing in the seas.

I got back to the apartment, chilled with Allison for a while as Jeremy napped (and introduced her to Ugly Betty), then cooked up a nice stir-fry for dinner while we watched the American Idol elimination show. After LaKisha went home, we ate (actually I had been really hungry and ate mine as soon as I was done cooking, though Jeremy and Allison had wanted to watch the end of the show). I ended up laying on the couch just zoning with the TV on and spontaneously passing out. I just zonked, and I didn't realize I was doing it or that I was even tired. I don't know if scuba just tuckered me out or something weird with different pressures underwater. It could have been the beef with the stir-fry, too (if you're surprised by that, I should mention that I've relaxed my vegetarianism for the summer in light of all my travels and especially because I don't want to miss out on some potential cultural experiences in France that might involve eating meat. I'm not out to get back into eating meat regularly by any means (I have rules: only if someone else cooks it for me and offers or if I'm cooking for myself and meat-eaters and I cook some for them. When I'm cooking for myself or at a restaurant or something, it's a no-go), and after this summer I'll go back to my stricter ways) (yes, that was a nested parenthetical, don't get confused). They woke me up a couple of hours later and I made my way to bed, knowing that in the morning I'd have to pack up and head off with Jeremy to Pearl Harbor and then the airport.

1 comment:

Candace said...

No one ever told the guy puking that you are not supposed to feed the fish, uh?