Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Frolicking in the Surf

 West Palm Beach, Florida

 I decide to go diving and take advantage of one of the free hotel nights that we've earned over the last two years by booking though hotels.com. They give you a "free" night for every ten paid nights you book though them. The value they spring for is equal to the average cost of the ten paid nights.


We have enough credit to get an ocean view room with a king bed on the top floor at the Hilton on Singer Island in West Palm..


 The surf is fantastic and the water temperature is a perfect 84 degrees.



 Our room isn't quite ready at check in time so they give us complementary breakfasts and also comp the $18 resort fee which covers Mrs. Phred's Pinot Grigio habit.


The dive master gives the dive briefing, He says the bottom time on the 85 foot first dive will be 60 minutes. My dive table says 24 minutes, so I ask him WTF? He says "everyone" uses a dive computer which results in longer bottom times. However, I am not investing in a computer at my advanced age. The other five younger passengers are all using Nitrox, but I'm still breathing air.... The tables have worked for me since 1965 so I close my mouth and stick with my table (it's in Spanish but with Arabic numerals).


They've opened the locks on Lake Okeechobee and dumped the muck into the gulf stream, so this is the worst visibility dive I've ever experienced. We sink into murk and gloom with 5-10 feet of visibility. We do manage to hit the wreck. I find that with the darkness and my declining eyesight I can't read my watch, air gauge or depth gauge.  That makes me feel uncomfortable. After a while, the dive master leads the other divers off the wreck and then proceeds to become totally lost. I decline to follow him and surface after 15 minutes....this is no fun...I knew the visibility would be poor, but this was way beyond my expectations...The next dive on the trench by the Breaker's Hotel is a little better.


A selfie with Pinot Grigio while waiting to check in.


Dawn on the Atlantic Ocean.


We drove back to the West Coast after the dives....it belatedly occurs to me that I missed the chance to get the great sunset on the same day over the Gulf of Mexico....a lifelong ambition along with:
1. A week on the Thorfinn diving the Truk Lagoon in Micronesia.
2. Seeing the Aurora Borealis.
3. Seeing the Southern Cross (see #6).
4. Catching a salmon on the Kenai River...Wait! I did that in August. 
5. Experiencing one more total eclipse of the Sun in 2017.
6. Carnival in Rio (see #3).
7. Renting an apartment in Chiang Mai for a month.


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