Sunday, January 25, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Neoprene Nearly Nomore


This trip is Pau.  

I spent my last day in the sun at the hotel pool and then took a shower just before I left.  

As I was relaxing in the sunshine surrounded by other divers passing the day from every corner of the planet… I suddenly realized: I. FORGOT. MY. WETSUIT.

WTF?  Seriously Pam?

I remember putting everything into my dive bag thinking there was a lot of room in there but I didn’t think anything of it since on purpose I didn’t back my checked bags full.  The crew had rinsed all of our gear, including our wetsuits and had hung them upstairs.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.  I am clearly out of my mind.  Duh.

I had the front desk call the boat and Shumi was so awesome.  They were able to get my wet suit and hooded vest back to me within the hour.  That is amazing.  I tipped them really well, so hopefully that helped too.  Crisis averted.  I really like this wetsuit, so I’m glad it was saved.
I checked in at the airport (by the way… this time nobody even looked at my carryon bag, nevermind weighing it), went to Columbo in Sri Lanka, then back to Dubai where I flew to Chicago O’Hare which was minus 17 degrees!!!  As usual, I loved the trip and wish I could dive more often.  But then again, it is nice to go back to my own condo: where everything is exactly as I like it to be. 

So, in summary this trip was 21 dives, bringing my count up to 1517 total lifetime dives.  There were 16 unique nudi sightings, one New Year’s Eve celebration and one 44th birthday.

So, until next time… (September for another Nudi Safari in Indonesia with and the infamous Graham Abbott)

Stay curious, neutrally buoyant, and remember to turn things over.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I’d like to be, under the sea, shooting an Aegires gardineri with you

This is the last day of diving.  Two dives.  Boo Hoo.  It is always over soooo fast.  Why is that? 

On the second dive, I found the most amazing Aegires gardineri  (formerly known as Notodoris gardineri).  At first I just saw its eggs, but then after looking up a little bit on a bright yellow sponge, I found the nudi.  To an untrained eye, this thing just looked like a pile of poop, but to me, it was awesome.  It was just laying there motionless on top of the sponge… probably exhausted from laying all those eggs.  Now it probably just wanted to be close to its food source while it took a nap.  I wanted a good picture so bad.  I was able to move a rock nearby to help show more of the critter, but there was no way I was going to be able to get one of the “fun face shots” I love to get with a slug.  Oh well.  I did the best I could.  Here’s the result:

Nudi #16 - Aegires gardineri 

These are the eggs.

A really sad excuse for the whole body shot.



A group photo on the dhoni after our last dive:

I finished a book this week called The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey.  It is a touching story about how a woman is very ill and cannot leave her bed but a friend brings her a snail from the local forest and it lives by her bed in a flowerpot and then eventually its own terrarium.  She studies the details of its life and even watches it take care of eggs.  It was a fast read and really makes you appreciate the small slow things in life. “Slow down, you move too fast.  You gotta make the moment last.”

The crew did show an end of the week video and it even had some nudibranchs in it.  J

We didn’t see whale sharks so they had to pull all of their stock footage from the video, but they put it as an “extra” at the end.  There was this one shot of Shumi with a whale shark in the background.  It was a whale shark selfie!  How cool is that?

The cocktail hour was so nice and the crew wore traditional Maldivian skirts.  They served us drinks and then made a big deal about presenting people awards for passing their Nitrox certifications, Milestone Dives (I got one for 1500 dives), for Closest Family (this Japanese family did every dive together) and for Iron Diver (people who did all the dives on the trip – I got this one too).  There was a new award presented on this trip.  The Canadian couple has actually been on ALL of the Aggressors.  That is really cool.  I may just need to nail that goal someday. 

I set up the Go Pro to take pictures every 60 seconds from a pole up high.  Here’s the video:

Then they kicked us off the boat for dinner in town.  It’s a very small little town, Male.  The captain recommended this restaurant called the Royal Garden.  We had a very hard time finding it.  We had a map in mostly Japanese and asked many people where it was and finally we found it.  There was no sign outside, just a neon Red Bull advertisement.  We went in and the seated us at a table and gave us two menus for eight of us.  It was interesting to see Italians, Peruvians, Finns, and two Americans interact at a dinner table.  We ordered pizzas, noodles and a mish-mash of other random things.  The service was a little slow so we were late getting back to the dhoni and the boat.