Thursday, July 25, 2013

Diving Utila

Yesterday I did my scuba tune up course to help me feel more comfortable since it's been three years since my last dive. It is a testament to how good my dive master (Maru at Parrots Dive Center) was that I only had one tiny little freakout before being able to move on, good as new. I'm actually kind of surprised that it was that easy for me to get back into the swing of things, considering I tend to be a pretty nervous diver.

I'd signed up for two dives and was at the dive shop bright and early this morning, 7am. I was happy to see the sun shining (it'd been a little overcast yesterday) and smooth waters for as far as the eye could see. There were a whole gaggle of divers heading out, but most of them were in class to get their open water certification. Once we got to the first dive site, the four of us doing fun dives and the aforementioned Maru, quickly separated from them (new divers have "skills" they have to perform and they tend to flail about a bit, both of which kick up sand and reduce visibility, hence the reasoning for wanting to distance ourselves). 

I felt pretty good about my buoyancy and air use; I wasn't the one sucking down air and forcing a short dive this time (that honor went to a 12 year old kid who was actually sharing air underwater because his tank was so low). All was good...except the dives just weren't that awesome. Visibility was super low on the second dive and we just weren't seeing anything super amazing. Trumpetfish and angelfish are cool, but I've seen them before. I admit, I was really, really thinking it'd be pretty stinking awesome to see whale sharks, which tend to be in this area. I know that not every dive can be the best dive ever, so I don't want it to sound like I'm placing blame or am bummed out. I'm actually really glad I went, I just don't think I'll do the other two dives I'd been considering. There are at least two other potential dive areas I can hit up before this trip is over - the Little Corn Islands in Nicaragua and Bocas del Toro in Panama.
And now for some snippets:
*  As I've discovered in past travels, contact solution is just not an easy thing to find. I brought a bottle with me that would have been enough for the whole trip...if I hadn't left it in my room in Guatemala City. Oops. I finally found some in Utila yesterday - $10 for a teeny, tiny little bottle. I seem to remember paying even more than that in Prague?, but I can't find the link.
*  Readers who have been around awhile know my love of brunch and how much I miss it when I'm on the road it. Imagine my surprise when I found that a restaurant here does brunch, a true brunch, complete with both breakfast and lunch options AND the proper accompanying adult beverages. I really thought twice about staying here two extra days just for brunch, but I finally decided that was a bit silly.
*  Although I'm sitting on a breezy balcony at the moment, it's basically been hot as Hades since Cabo. I've managed to get into the habit of three showers daily, sometimes four. The beer in Honduras is the iciest ever and combined with all those cold showers, I'm managing (sometimes barely) to stay comfortable.

I like sets of three, so I'll stop my bulleted list there. It's just about time for one of those icy beers and what looks to be a pretty great sunset.

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