We’ve enjoyed a few days at the beach in Surf CIty, and it’s been a welcome change of pace. I’ve loved it here since we were fortunate enough to get this place in ~2006, and it remains a place of retreat and refuge.
Through a renovation in ’17 which was wiped out by hurricane Florence in ’18, the 2-year rebuild then wiped out by Isaias in ’20, finally getting back in here this past winter, this place was really inaccessible for nearly 3 1/2 years. But when we are here, however briefly (this time for 3 days), we just settle in and relax. The space inside is limited but perfectly arranged by Pattie; the space outside is beyond expansive with its ocean view.
Every visit also involves some sort of home repair, of course...
The past few days in the U.S. seem to bring an already deeply frightening time to new, even more abysmal depths. As bad as the state of affairs in this country has been over the past years–many years, to be sure, and we could look back to our founding through devastating destruction of others for the start–since ’16 it’s just been a steady plummeting of ‘other’ in favor of a national narcissism.
Our ruling institutions–Executive, Legislative, and Judicial–have each taken their own dives over the decades. The trust in each of these, at different times, has seen a deterioration in the American mind each in their own way. The Vietnam war era saw an Executive branch so out of tune with the populace that our world exploded here, and elsewhere...
This past weekend brought almost all of my family together–for the first time since early December, 2019. Fabulous to see everyone, of course, and to celebrate my nephew’s wedding. Just a few pix of Joe, Cristin, Jackson (nearing 3), and Nathaniel (9 mos.)
Another fabulous trip to Cocoview for a relaxing week of diving. The past months have been busy in new ways, and this break brought much-needed sleep, relaxation, a rejuvenation-via-distraction of a completely different focus. This past week’s diving I made a very simple change: using the GoPro for photos rather than video, and it made the process of reviewing the pix easier/quicker, and made the identification of fish more efficient, as well. Pattie got a wonderful guide-book, produced by a resident photographer at Cocoview, and it’s been a super resource for us in identifying what we saw on dives.
We’re really having an experience that is, as many others have said, like summer camp for divers.
The friendships we’re striking up are building from time at meals, of course, but that’s largely because almost all the folks on our boat (currently 8 of us, as 4 left yesterday morning) are coming together for meals. We have certainly met others over an occasional drink at the bar, or just getting into conversations with people at adjoining tables…it’s all about community here.
There are a handful of people who prefer to spend meal times alone, or just with the companion they traveled with, and no one puts pressure on anyone to join in or to be alone. Just very easy.
Yesterday’s dives were again very nice. The first stop was Gold Chain Reef (#56), and the afternoon dive was another stop at Menagerie (#59). The repeat of Menagerie was just fine, as it’s a lovely and bountiful site. We did a drop-off on the afternoon dive, dropping at the Prince Albert wreck, looking around a bit and heading back in. On average, our dives are clocking in at 50-60 minutes; and we’re doing so with about 1/3 tank remaining.
Sunday, of course, was the first day of diving for the many folks who arrived on Saturday. So now the boat assignments are complete and we know who’ll be on “our” boat for the remainder of the week. We’d already met with 6 of these folks on Saturday, it turns out, so there were only 2 new folks...
Yesterday was our first day of experiencing how things run here–at least on a Saturday, which is the turnover day for the vast majority of guests. And it was great.
All guests who were boat diving yesterday were put on a single boat, all 8 of us. Some of those folks will be on the boat to which we’re assigned for the remainder of the week, some on other boats. Most of them are here for 10-14 days (“we just get started about 6 days in”). I don’t think we’re quite that hard core. And all are repeat guests, one nearly thirty times.
One Galveston, TX couple, probably about 70 or so, were particularly friendly, and we enjoyed lunch with them, and general fun conversation on the boat...
The semester now (just) past has brought so much; re-establishing at work in-person, a very new routine re work, commuting, my fundamental relationship with where I work and the people I work with. Home, which is lovely, is so very different than this time a year ago. In time, I’ll try to capture some of these things as I return to this journal after a three-month long hiatus.
At this moment, Pattie and I are in Roatan, Honduras. We arrived yesterday, picked up and brought to Cocoview. Very, very helpful folks here got us an orientation to the dive operation–a required step before being allowed to begin doing the regular boat diving...