Monday, July 27, 2020

Yesterday’s diving was such a welcome and wonderful break from work. A long day, for sure, we enjoyed the company of some new folks–outside, wind taking care of health-threats (we hope), and just being on the boat.

6am at the boat, left dock about 6:45 or so, about 1’15 to the first dive site. A pretty calm ride with a nice group of six divers, two dive-guides, and a captain. Good folks, no one too gung-ho, all pretty calm. This was a group of first-timers with this outfit/boat. I that’s unusual as their trips are usually drawn from a group of about 15-20 repeaters. Among the divers, three folks from G’ville (one the head of ROTC instruction at ECU), one from Raleigh, and us; the guides brought an EE student from ECU, and one who lives near Surf City and works for SAS in Cary.

The first dive was the Ario, a real junked-up wreck from WWII. Very little was intact, so there wasn’t a ton to see. But it just felt great to be in the water, and to be enjoying the underwater space. This dive was the first (I think) for us where we were out of sight of land. Our past trips in Hawaii, Cabo, Key Largo, have all be 30+’ from shore, never very far out at all.

The second dive was maybe 15′ from the first, (one of many spots) known as “The Ledges.” Essentially a nice strip of coral, quite teeming with life. This was really a beautiful, restful, colorful dive with so very many fish to see. Quite different from other dives, with a complete absence of turtles, but certainly no shortage of sealife. I didn’t bring the GoPro down, as i just didn’t want to be distracted; but it would have yielded some nice viewing, especially on this Ledges dive.

Nothing super-deep, maxing out at 77′ on the second dive, 68′ on the first; and the water was so nice and warm. Some on the boat were just diving in shorts, though we wore our 3mm suits and were very comfy, even at depth. So nice to not be cold, and not need to put on extra layers.

The trip back was an easy return, including a stop for fuel. We were back at the dock a spot before 3. So it was a 9-hour day.

With so very much to do, so much on the work-list these days, it seems the only way to truly escape right now is to get to a space where work is simply not possible. Leaving the phone in the car at the dock, no computer; just the wide open space on the water, and the other-wordliness below. A very welcome break, indeed.