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Published: March 6th 2011
Baleadas & Coffee at Mayra's.
Our last dive day today. Well here around Utila anyway. Bittersweet. But we talked Mike & Liz into diving again this morning with us so we are super excited (we tempted them with talks of Whale Sharks, which we did not see, oh well, still fun). They somehow were placed on the list of divers without asking which worked out well because the boat filled up quickly last night.
The usual morning, up early, coffee, baleadas at Mayra's (plus one para llevar (to go) for in between dive 1 & 2), set up equiptment, wait on dock. Nice mornings.
Today we are diving at one of the sites we asked for because we had read it was a great site. It's called CJ's Dropoff. It really is a dropoff, wow. It's a wall dive & it drops further than you can even attempt to see. Apparently about 400 meters deep right there. We were the same group of advanced divers this morning with Jason so he said we get to go deep again! We ended up going to 35 meters (about 125 feet) kind of by accident for a few minutes. Jason was hunting Lionfish (they aren't endemic to
this region but once they got here they multiply like crazy & have no predators, so some dive shops hunt them for the better good of the fish who live here) & we were watching but it took a second to realize how deep we were. As usual I was completely narked out & had to cough & fix my mask at the same time, which isn't usually a big deal, but all of the sudden I was looking at my regulator (breathing device) in my hand. I promptly put it back in my mouth but have no idea why it was even in my hand. It is really nuts how your brain works at those depths. Like the climbers on Everest who do dumb/crazy things. Only opposite. Weird!
Anyway, we ascended to a safer, maintainable level & it was an amazing dive. The wall was incredible & full of fish. Jason & Angel (another DM) saw a Hammerhead shark! We all missed it but right after that I turned around & saw a huge Manta Ray! It was beautiful. It just came up out of the blue depths said hello & swam away. It is incredible how such
large creatures can just disappear into the blue below. That was the highlight of the dive for sure. So beautiful.
Our next dive site was right next to our current dive site so we all just sat on the boat & enjoyed the sun & had some snacks. Because we had gone so deep we had to have a long surface interval (time spent between dives on the surface) so we were just chilling for about 45 minutes. The other dive group got started on their dive because they hadn't gone as deep. Wall dives make it so easy to go deeper than you think if you aren't consistently paying attention to your gauge!
Our next dive was fun. Lot's of little baby puffers again. Liz took a bunch of pics of us underwater on this dive too which was super exciting & fun to see later.
Back at camp, which is how I think of it: Adult Dive Camp because all we do is dive, hang out with other people, play, eat, talk about diving & sea life & there are lot's of hand drawn pictures around the hostel of the Cays & the reef system around
Us geared up
& that's Ulysses.
us. I really like Adult Dive Camp, I kinda want to stay forever. We headed back to our little hotel deck after diving to chill with a little bit of peace & quiet in the "couples" section. hee hee hee. So funny, but seriously so true too. We had some of Mayra's nachos & a beer & just chilled & laughed a lot on our deck.
Randomly, Mike's minocular came in handy again today to look at a hummingbird that landed on the telephone pole in front of our deck. I called it a monocle. Ooops. Not much difference really. We also got a good laugh out of that. Yes, Mike carries a minocular & we've actually used it numerous times now. I've never seen a hummingbird sit still as long as this guy did. It was cool to watch him. He'd fly away & then come back & land on the same spot.
That evening we decided to buy some fresh caught fish for dinner & have a fish back together. Somehow we got the whole hostel on the same idea & we had a huge fish cookout. It was super fun. We had a wood/charcoal BBQ.
We bought a 3 pound fresh snapper that was cut & cleaned right in front of us for $10 (Split with M&L). Definitely caught in the last day or so. The fish plant is on this little Cay & they fish every day & do not have large storage areas so I imagine their turnaround time is pretty quick. The fisherman are all young Garifuna guys who are all a little nuts. We've seen at least two of them consistently, during our time here, walking around talking to themselves. But they can catch a good fish!
We baked potatoes on the grill & stuffed the fillets full of onions, garlic, & cut limes. OMG! That was some of the yummiest fish ever. Our fish was done first so after we took our portions, everyone else was sampling the tasty fish. It was fun & such a group effort. The rest of the group pitched in together & bought a HUGE Snapper, about 7 pounds, & they left the head on & cooked him whole on the grill. It took some time to cook but apparently turned out really good (I was already in bed when it was done, surprise
surprise....). They also made homemade tortillas that Geoff said turned out really well so now I'm inspired to try myself. It seems like something that would be so difficult but apparently it isn't.
It was a really fun way to end our time with this group of people. Everyone, except for us, is leaving tomorrow so it was like a big going away party. I stayed up as late as I could but at least Geoff stuck around to represent the Smiths. 😉 Good work Geoff! I think I just love this bed too much. It's so comfy.
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