I have no time for a real post (and I’m two weeks in already!), but I simply had to update everyone on my diving experiences of yesterday and today. Sure, some of you have been complaining that you don’t want to hear me go on about what I’m doing, so I suppose that means I can no longer tell you about my trip. No, I’m kidding. If you don’t like hearing it, don’t read it, dontcha know?
In all seriousness, just a quick bit on how amazing yesterday was. I finished another diving course and squeezed in 3 dives that were all fairly amazing, then dove once again today.
First I did a dive on the HMS Maori, a shipwreck lying right in Valletta’s harbor. It was a bit murky, but we saw a brittle star, some other wildlife, and did a pretty neat swimthrough into and out of the ship.
A few hours later I dove in front of the absolutely picturesque Popeye’s Village (http://bit.ly/WGnCJT)–and yes, it looks exactly like this–and was in 3 caves. Though it was a very easy dive–no more than 10m deep–it provided a most stunning view. The swim out was crystal clear, and I was right inside a Discovery Channel Blue Planet camera. Once in the cave, I felt just as if I were hiking in upstate New York, or New Hampshire, or even Canada: the rocks inside, with no moving particles, and silence…it really made me feel as though I were floating instead of hiking–I kept forgetting I was underwater at all! My boss and diving buddy, Gregor, pointed for me to look back at the opening we had come through. We both stayed there a minute, looking at the glow of light entering the cave. After our group swam around inside the three caves, we rounded a bend and prepared to exit. The impossibly blue colors of the jagged rock outline literally stopped us in our tracks. I couldn’t believe the beauty of it. Other divers kept swimming, but I wanted to drink in the view for hours. Stunning. Sure, I know I sound ridiculous and overly dramatic, but you don’t know just how beautiful it was.
Those were fun dives done on the job. For my 3rd and final dive of the day, I went on a night dive to complete my 5-dive course (with a different shop). I had cajoled the shop into creating a Monday night dive in the first place, and though one guy had to drop out, 3 of us went with 1 great instructor. After a review, briefing, and night navigation test, we set out. It wasn’t at all scary as I’d expected. And to my utter delight, we saw 3 different octopi (including the white-spotted red octopus), green and red starfish, shrimp, and a CUTTLEFISH! I’ve wanted to see a cuttlefish for years, and though it was small, its thorax lit up a neon green and its sides fluttered as it moved oddly in the water. Awesome. Terrific!
Today I was utterly exhausted, but had one fun dive to a wreck called Um El Faroud. Situated at 14-36m, I was certainly happy I could now dive deeper with my new certification. After a long swim out near the Blue Grotto, we arrive at the broken-off back half of the huge oil tanker. Our guide barely let us see the ship when he dove right into exploring the nitty-gritty. We floated up the steps and into the side hallway. It truly felt surreal, and not to quote a rather [deleted]movie (well, I won’t), I did feel I was simply floating into the grand stairway Titanic scene. It was just absurd–I could barely tell I was diving. Into and out of tiny rooms, and heading into darkness we went. At times we dove straight down into the engine room, and other times, up a ladder and into another black compartment. It. Was. Ridiculous. No, my mother would not have liked it, but to me it was…magical.
I feel so lucky I get to do this. Back to work, but I can’t stop thinking about the blue caves and the El Faroud. Wow, just…wow.