Today’s dives were… well… amusing to say the least! About half of Pura Vida’s crew was out today on Narcosis Dive Charters along with Lindsay’s advanced open water student, Casey Giesler, to enjoy another great day on the water. Although not perfectly flat, the 3-5ft. seas were very manageable.

But putting up with a little bounce in our step was well worth it, for what awaited us underwater made up for it. Upon dipping our masks under the surface at the Princess Anne wreck, the crystal clear, blue water of the Gulf Stream blanket us down to the bottom. As we descended, it was apparent there was not an ounce of current, so the group was free to explore the wreck in its entirety.

For those who have never done a dive on the Princess Anne, having no current is quite the treat. As predicted from our dives the day before, conditions were just as good if not better.

This weathered wreck has some amazing structure to it, and some areas provide the perfect Kodak Moment. The colorful reds and yellows of the cup corals contrast beautifully with the clear blue water. Swarms of fish abound!

On my dives on the 13th of November, I was going to take a photograph of Colin, our captain and dive instructor, and I noticed a small bit of fogging on his mask. I asked for him to clear it and his sloppy technique, no doubt caused by my presence, required him to try a second time to get it right. I might have said a few things to him (joking around, of course!) back on the boat and today he found it necessary to constantly remind me that he is more than capable of properly clearing his mask as you will see in the photograph below:

The Art of Clearing Your Mask

Naturally, I was impressed. Perfect form and function! After a terrific dive on the Princess Anne, we were on our safety stop and once again he performed his perfect skill for me. I was starting to think he was showing off.

During our surface interval, I mentioned to Colin he could also clear any fogging issues underwater by licking his mask (it really does work!). While we waited on our surface interval, Captain Van and Woody jumped in for a deep dive to an undisclosed barge. Upon entering the water they were welcomed by numerous bull sharks who escorted them down to the barge. During Woody’s safety stop, a small three-foot bull shark kept Woody “entertained.” Both divers were excited to see these wonderful sharks in our area. They are a reminder that the winter season of sharks is upon us.

Our second dive was at Larsen’s Valley. This site, as the name implies, has a valley-like topography to it. Many of the nooks and crannies were crammed with marine life. A swirl of tropicals danced in front of my camera.

Lindsay was teaching her student, Casey Giesler, the physics of diving at depth. With a raw egg in-hand, she slowly cracked it open and the whole thing held together like magic. A plastic water bottle that was normal at the surface, was crushed under the pressures of over three atmospheres.

From a distance, I noticed Colin trying out the mask defog technique I had mentioned. I rushed in his direction firing shot after shot. He didn’t notice I was there! As he recomposed himself and searched around for me, I fired one last shot, and it was then noticeable he was, once again, back to old antics.

Not to worry, folks, I will keep you all posted as his mask-clearing skills evolve. Colin will be the poster child for “The Art of Clearing Your Mask” when we are done with him. 🙂

Back to his old ways!

Little did I know that the day’s antics were far from over. In fact, they were about to reach biblical proportions! In the background, the mighty Finch, was busy ridding the reef of the invasive lion fish population. His spear looked like a fish kabob!

Finch even took time out of his busy schedule to feed a lovely coney grouper who quickly took to Finch’s lion fish sashimi. Watching him work so diligently, I felt it my onus to point out a nice sized lobster dinner for him. The lobster was hiding in a cubby hole which, I thought, served little challenge for this master lobsterman. Setting aside his lion fish kabob, Finch reached for his lobster snare and carefully pulled the lobster out of his hole. Before we could both figure out what was happening the lobster slipped out of Finch’s hands and made its way into a large undercut ledge.

An explosion of sand erupted from the area. Try as Finch might, the lobster was just within the finger tip reaches of his lobster snare. It looked like the aquatic version of Indian Jones with the maiden hanging perilously off a ledge. I could not help laugh as this battle of the titans continued for minutes on end — neither one willing to give up. Finch finally gave up for a minute, but my laughter inspired him to continue his quest.

At last, Finch had the lobster in his grasp. As Finch raised the lobster over his head in victory, with a powerful slap of its tail, the lobster broke free from Finch’s grasp, once again, smashed into his head, leaving Finch dazed. Once Finch recovered from this Mike Tyson lobster blow, he quickly scurried over to it and, with much determination, crammed the unwilling monster lobster into his lobster bag. All around I could hear the applause of the fish audience in this three round lobster boxing match! Will Finch hold his TKO record? Only time will tell. Stay tuned!

We would like to send out a very special thanks to Capt. Van and his crew of Narcosis Diving Charter for kindly hosting us on his wonderful dive boat. We couldn’t have asked for a better time!

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