Saturday, 18 December 2010
A Good Day for Parrot Fish
The Mexican Divemaster asks how many dives I've done and I tell him probably over 1,000. He's about four feet tall and almost as wide. A few minutes later he catches me trying to put on my wet suit backwards and hoots and threatens to inspect my C-card. He's been diving two years and he tells me he has done about 80 dives. I started diving in 1964 (before air pressure and depth gauges or buoyancy vests).
It's getting harder as I approach 70. My age and extra weight, the strokes and the joint pains are all starting to add up. Strapping on 80 pounds of dive equipment and climbing back on the boat requires a lot more effort.
The first dive at 80 feet is on the Pallancar Caves. We swim in and out of caves formed by towering coral heads for forty minutes. Back on the boat we have a surface interval of an hour and then do a second drift dive along a lovely wall formation for another forty minutes at 40 to 60 feet. I see turtles and beautiful parrot fish and a grouper.
We were definitely bottom fishing on the Norwegian Dawn out of Miami. We got a 60% discount on the five day cruise. The cost per person was less than $50 a day before taxes, port fees, tips and drinks. The thing I liked the least was the ship's library which was only open three hours a day. I've had better food on other cruise lines. Notwithstanding, if I never dive again, this was a good way to end it.