Jewel Cay Day 2

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February 24th 2011
Published: March 3rd 2011
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The biologists (Mike & Liz)The biologists (Mike & Liz)The biologists (Mike & Liz)

reading about the things we saw under water.
I still managed to wake up at 6 even though we aren't diving again until this afternoon. Although we were in bed by 10 pm. The sun sets at 5:30 & it gets dark quickly. And after an afternoon of diving it's easy to sleep.

We had breakfast at Mayra's restaurant. Baleadas of course. It's just tough to beat a delicious breakfast for 75 cents. I want to learn how to make homemade flour tortillas. The morning we spent lounging on the dock, emailing, reading. Another stress free day in paradise.

We got our dive equiptment together again & waited for our boat to arrive. Today we headed to Spotted Bay Dive site & our worked on our "peak performance buoyancy." This was so fun! We dove down to a sandy bottom & each swam through a PVC pipe square: on our back & on each side & normally. Then we had to knock over weights with our heads, in a headstand, without touching the sand. We also had to knock over the weight with our regulator (breathing device in our mouth) without touching the sand. Then we just played & flipped eachother around, did headstands for a minute while maintaining buoyancy (sitting in one place), & practiced laying on our backs in the water in one place. It was super fun. And also really useful. We've been using our new skills in subsequent dives & they are really useful in looking at different things while diving. Loving it!

The boat rides to & from dive sites are always fun. Everyone is excited, either to dive or because we just dove, & we get to sit on top of the boat & enjoy the sun & the view & the water. It's a great way to see the water.

Our next dive was at Raggedy Cay, which is a funny name for it because the little Cay does look a bit raggedy with one or two trees & a few bushes. The dive was great & just a fun dive, no skills to practice. Geoff saw an octopus & there were just tons & tons of different fish. The Angelfish here are huge & beautiful. The parrot fish are also amazing & have such vivid colors.

Back on the dock we said goodbye to our current travel bud, Peter. Sad to see him go! We've been
Kassandra decided to haveKassandra decided to haveKassandra decided to have

a grilled ham & cheese for lunch.
having some great conversations & good laughs. We are going to miss him! He's heading for Roatan to meet with some friends.

On our boat ride back to the Cay we passed a local guy in his wooden fishing boat who was stranded in the middle of the ocean. His boat was filling with water (which it always does, I've seen him with his bucket already using it) & his dog was with him. This guy & his family live on Diamond Cay across from us & their little dog follows them everywhere. Even when they get in the boat & paddle away, he swims right after. Today, the guy & the dog were both pretty scared & dehydrated & sunburnt when we got to them. He said he'd been out there for 3 hours. Yikes! The wind really blows through here. It would be easy to get caught in it & carried out to sea.... Scary!

We headed back home after this & ate & rested up for our night dive! Yikes! I'm a little nervous because I get freaked out in the dark but we are all going together & Geoff has been working on his
Our instructor NajaOur instructor NajaOur instructor Naja

& the swimming Jack Russell.
buddy skills so I feel more secure.

There is fish drying all over the Cay. So during the day, when they put it out, the island smells like dried fish. Apparently they use it for Easter to make a special soup & because they can't eat anything with running blood (or so I was told) on Easter. It's kinda cool to see the fish out though. Then they pack it up every night & store it away.

Once the sun started setting we got our gear together & met on the dock. Naja went over our dive plan, instructed us on how to use the dive lights & we were in the water.... It was definitely a bit disorienting underwater because it is sooo dark & difficult to keep track of direction. But the coral & fish were incredible. Some of the coral wake up at night & send out appendages to hunt. Their colors were so different & bright, lot's of deep dark reds & oranges. We saw our first Toad Fish & heard him! They actually make this ribbit like sound underwater! It was a trip. We worked with the compass & had to swim out
Us with PeterUs with PeterUs with Peter

before he set off for Roatan.
into the dark by ourselves with a light & return back to the group. On my way I saw a HUGE Porcupine Fish just hanging out. We turned off our lights for a bit & swam around & saw all the phosphoresence. It was crazy because if you would stop moving you wouldn't see any more glowing, nor would you see anyone else even though they were right next to you! EEKK! There were lot's of brittle stars & at one point there was this huge cloud of little worms that followed our lights around. They were really icky. Red & about 1/2 inch long & wormy & squirmy. I did not like them but they were entertaining. There were a ton of these little tiny fish in a huge school that were nibbling on our fingers too. It was really an incredible experience. Then we headed back to the dock & got out of the water under a star filled sky. We were all pumped. It makes you feel like a kid again. Exploring a new world. Thanks to our biologist friends we are also learning sooo much & noticing the finer details of the life underwater. They look
The fishThe fishThe fish

drying in town.
at the miniscule things & get so excited talking about them. Then we go inside & look at a great set of books that have pictures of everything in the sea, from fish, to sea grass, to coral, to mollusks. It is truly an education & we are loving every minute of it. We all go back & look at those books after each dive & share what we've seen. Now it's like a treasure hunt when we dive! Soooo fun!!

After showering we headed back to Kayla & ate pizza. One of the local women makes pizza ,for $6 a pizza, for the hotel on this day of the week (thursday I think it is?) & it was yummy! There was music playing & lots of drinking. We were too beat to drink more than a beer. 3 dives in one day is a killer. After stuffing our faces with delicious pizza we headed to bed. Up early to dive tomorrow, got to get some sleep!

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