Sunday, 10 June 2012
9am – morning two-tank dive. Yesterday had asked for 12 lbs on my weight belt. Didn’t double-check and only had nine. So two-thirds of the way through the first dive, with 1000 lbs of air still left in the tank, got caught by a current and swept up to the surface. Good thing it was a shallow dive and I hadn’t needed a 3-minute stop at 15 feet!
Came up a distance from the boat, in a current and choppy water. Was exhausted and cold (no wet suit yet, just a skin), plus a bit queasy from the rocking of the boat. Laid down on some life vests with my towel over me and missed the second dive.
(This photo and all other underwater photos taken by my friend C as I didn’t purchase an underwater housing for my new camera, thinking I was doing well enough to be diving on my own after six years of not diving.)
After lunch slept all afternoon and still slept a 10-hour night! Sorry that they don’t have nitrox on the island, as it doesn’t wear you out like regular compressed air does.
Food is pretty good. Logically, fish is practically always one of the two choices for lunch or dinner, sometimes a vegetarian choice. The soups are superb! (This a pumpkin soup, photo by C.) The presentations are gorgeous! I wish I had my camera when served a beef stew on a banana leaf with a square of potato on each of the four sides. Or to photograph a cone of rice over a flower of thin carrot slices for petals, next to the fish drizzled with a delicate sauce.
Monday, 11 June 2012
Decided on a day of rest rather than the two-tank shark dive. Usually $250 FJD + marine park fee, $15, but as it takes the place of one of our pre-paid $180 two-tank dives, it should be $85 FJD extra. Instead, it’s $85 American extra.
No beach and cool weather, so snuggled up most of the day with my book, A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, a Pulitzer Prize winner back in ’91. Dense, as all Pulitzer Prize winners are, but good. (A friend is reading only Pulitzer Prize winning books, but I have found a couple too hard going, such as Jeffrey Eugenides’ first one, Middlesex,which I had thought I could get through because much of it takes place in Detroit, my old stomping ground, but no.)
But in the afternoon did go to the coconut, tapa demonstration. After almost three years in Jamaica, I knew the coconut spiel, but one thing different here – rather than shinnying up the tree with a figure-eight rope around one’s feet, they cut steps in the trunk for easy access to the coconuts.
The items made from the shells, trunk, fronds of the coconut tree as well as the decorated tapa cloth are (of course) for sale in the tiny gift shop.
(I instead have my eye on a large carved wooden turtle that I saw at Jack’s Saturday.)