We've been having a wonderful time relaxing at Sol Food and diving. Diving is a lot like a treasure hunt - you go as slowly as you can searching for all the wonderful and elusive critters out there. On Thursday we did another dive at Alice in Wonderland to double check equipment. Good thing too because Martin's regulator blew another O-ring! Luckily Andreas was there and he was able to diagnose and fix the problem. We had a really nice dive and saw our first turtle.
Friday we went to Porto Marie about 20 minutes south of the apartment. It's a beautiful beach with a restaurant. We did a morning dive, had lunch, and then went back for another dive. The reef/wall drops down to well over 100 feet. It's very deceptive. You cruise along and suddenly realize you're much deeper than you'd thought! We kept to our profiles though and had a great time. We saw a string ray, a couple very large moray eels and several drum and trunk fish (all in the pics).
Friday night there were several people eating at Sol Food including some of the OEW crew. We had a nice time chatting with a visiting family and a couple from Holland who are here on their honeymoon. We also solved a mystery. Yesterday, while diving Alice in Wonderland, Martin and I came across an inflated yellow duck tied to dive weights at about 35 feet. When we asked at dinner we got blank looks from the OEW crew and teased quite a bit with questions like "what kind of drugs do you like to dive on" and " Were you narc'd?" (if you dive deep, around 100 feet you start to "narc'd" - feeling/acting/reasoning like you're drunk...) No one has ever seen a blow up duck in the water! We were having quite a laugh when (luckily) the honeymoon couple arrived just then and said "oh, you saw our duck?" Whew, I thought Mart and I may have been suffering from a joint hallucination :) Well, their last day is tomorrow, so it's a no dive day, and we have officially inherited the duck to use as a navigation aid - yay :)
Saturday we went to town with David to run some errands and then we went diving at Playa Largo. It's a gorgeous dive off a remote beach. I found an octopus in the shallows (pic)! Saturday night we hung out with the crowd at Sol Food and had another great evening.
Sunday we went on a morning boat dive with OEW. On our way out we encountered a large pod of dolphins with babies! Then we dived Lagun and saw our first post-larval juvenile smooth trunkfish. They are the size of a large pea! Toni the dive master found the first and I spotted the second. Very cool but we weren't able to get a focused pics. Then we got back in the boat and Tuki the captain pulled aside so we could pick up some garbage floating in the water. It turned into a rescue at sea as there was an iguana floating on a bottle. We backed up into the rock face and let him go (see pics). Off to Watamula, the next dive site. There are outrageously gorgeous corals there and Martin found a sea horse! It's a real prize to find sea horses since they are pretty rare. Sunday evening was another great time hanging out with the OEW crowd.
Today we went to a pancake brunch at Daniels with Sunshine and David. They're pancakes ala Dutch and were great. Then we went to Playa Cas Abao, hung out on the beach for a while and then went for a shore dive using our duck as a navigation aid :) We found a balloon fish, a couple great file fishes and then Martin spotted the "pea" as we call it and got a great pic.
Today is our last dive day (you aren't supposed to dive 24 hours before flying). So tomorrow we're off to the ostrich farm and will enjoy a day on land!