I sit next to my son on the flight to Puerto Rico and remember bringing him and Mrs. Phred back from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital 37 years ago. He is sleeping next to me now. This is the first time we've spent together in many years.
We pick up the rental car and head west from San Juan to Arecibo and then down into the mountains to La Parguera. It takes three hours to drive 50 miles though the mountain switchbacks. We come to the intersection of 128 and 428. We decide to take 428. A man come out on his front porch and yells “Doan go THAT way!”. The road degenerates quickly into one lane and we expect to see banditos with machetes.We find a turnaround point and the man comes out and yells “I toll you!”. We laugh and wave.
The first dive is at 100 feet. I see stoplight parrotfish, queen angels (iridescent blue and gold) and trumpetfish. We do a five minute safety stop at 20 feet to bleed of nitrogen and a one hour surface interval and then go down again. Our divemaster is from Miani..we talk about visiting Cuba.
The 14 pounds of lead I’m carrying take me down very quickly. I’ve lost 30 pounds of fat since last year. Fat floats. 12 pounds is enough this year.
The next day the sea is much higher. Everyone on the boat is puking except me…I offer a bite of sandwich to a customer from Topeka who pukes on the deck next to me. I rented an underwater camera. The CD will be ready in the morning. I hope the shot of the green moray eel comes out.