Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Vacation: Diving on Friday

Friday morning began much the same way Thursday did, and we were on the boat out to the first dive spot by 7:30. Our first dive was another section of the Palancar reef, called the Palancar Bricks. Here, the reef grows straight up, and didn’t grow back upon itself like the caves. This was, by far, the most amazing dive of the trip. We saw manta rays and a lobster, tons of fishes including flounders, and my absolute favorite tropical plant/animal/thingy in the ocean. I have no idea what they are called, so if you know, please tell me. The little creatures are stationary, attached to pieces of coral, and they extend out about 3 centimeters. Along the main stalk, there are 3-4 rings of increasing size (kind of like a classic toy). Each ring is made up of light, wispy strings sticking out. If you cause waves to run near the little dudes, they retreat into their bases, and then reemerge later to gather whatever floats by. I have called them Christmas tree worms, just to have a name to refer to them, but I have no idea what they are actually called. Regardless, once I saw my favorite little creature, I was all set for my diving fix.

We spent our surface interval hanging out at the beach again, chatting amongst the divers in the group. Our second dive was at a place called Tormento Reef, and this was another dive where we went where the current took us. Here we watched another ray trying to shake a large fish that was following along right above it. It was almost comical to watch. We saw several barracudas, and caught a glimpse of an eel heading for cover. This was a great dive, but I was starting to get fed up with my dive mates who couldn't seem to do a three-minute safety stop in less than fifteen minutes.

We returned to the hotel for lunch and a shower, and I went on my next mission -- an attempt to get hold of a scooter for a day. We thought this might be a good way to enjoy some more of the island without going broke paying for taxis. I asked a lady who seemed to be manning a concierge-type desk, but she then trapped me for 45 minutes to talk about a timeshare with the hotel. Ack! I did eventually escape, and wandered around the rest of the hotel. Eventually, I ended up on the beach, reading again. It was very relaxing, even if cliche.

After the conference finished up for the day, niether of us was very hungry or interested in any more interaction with the other attendees. So, we holed up in our room reading and working and sleeping and watching TV with Spanish subtitles. I decided that helped me learn Spanish words better than Spanish TV with English subtitles. Not sure how much I really learned, but I did pick up a few things.

And that was Friday, and I slept well. My husband was working on his conference presentation and an application for a job in Munich until well into the night.

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