Thursday, April 22, 2010

Snorkeling with John

We snorkeled together three times. The first two times were good practice, but the water wasn't clear, because of storms. I had trouble with cramping in my calves, so we weren't in the water more than 30 minutes each time. The third time, the water was very clear. We stayed out for a total of two hours, with a rest break in the middle.

We saw many kinds of fish and crabs. I brought home some new coral and seaweed we found floating in the water and a hermit crab for our aquarium.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baptized new SCUBA outfit

Just got home from baptizing my new SCUBA outfit. It was exciting.

The wind died down today, after blowing up a storm yesterday. There were no white caps visible from the street, when we walked home from church. We thought we'd give it a try.

Not a good day at all for snorkeling. Better than yesterday, anyway. The sea was flat, except at the shore. The waves were big enough to body surf.

It took me a good 30 minutes to get everything ready and put on my body. So we felt it was OK just to take a quick swim in the cold Mediterranean Sea. There were about seven fisherman nearby. They seemed amused to see anyone get into the frigid water. My new cold water wetsuit is a 5mm thick class B Beuchat Moorea vest with hood and Farmer-John pants. It is made for diving in water that is 50° to 64°F or 10° to 18°C.

I was happy to stay warm and mostly dry. I was wearing diving socks and gloves as well as the hooded wetsuit. I walked backward in my fins into the waves. When the water got deep enough, I laid back into it and swam out about 60 meters/yards. The waves were very strong. The visibility was zero under water. Air temp was about 60°F/15°C and the water was much colder.

Since the view was zero, I rode a couple waves back into the shore. Sue was relieved to see me on solid ground. Before I got in the water, ☺ I told her to save me, if I got in trouble. As she watched me swim, she was trying to decide which clothes she would throw off and which she would keep wearing.

One thing about a good wetsuit is that they float you on the surface of the water, unless you wear ballast to weigh you down.

I don't like getting into the sea or ocean anymore without a wetsuit. Especially with the jellyfish and other wildlife we encounter.

Very little water got into my wetsuit. When I took it off, it seemed to be sweat. Now I'm praying for a sunny calm day off, when Sue and I both can put on our wet suits and go for a snorkel together. Want to join us?

I'm a CMAS 1 Star - Qualified open water diver since 2005, when we were refuges in Dakar, Senegal from the civil war in Cote d'Ivoire.




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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kuriat Islands, Tunisia

They are about 18 kilometers off the coast of Monastir, Tunisia.

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This is our pirate ship. I'm holding the camera about one inch above the surface of the water.




I'm in the water, behind our pirate ship.



Joshua is climbing down into the water. He was glad we didn't see any jelly fish in the water. We saw three large red jelly fish on the way there.



Something growing on a steel pole off the coast of Kuriat Island, Tunisia. I assume it is coral.

My favorite fish today. The stuff falling around him is some left over broiled fish from lunch. The workers assured me it was a waste of time to put cooked fish in the water, but it drew over 50 fish to me in minutes.

This is the clearest fish photo I took today.


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Monday, October 5, 2009

Octopus and fish


These are some fish I saw feeding near a stone wall.


This is an octopus hiding against the same stone wall.

I saw him reach out and grab one of the fish swimming by him. When he saw me, he pulled his tentacles in tight, and blended in with the wall and all its green algae. He is there on the lower left hand side of the photo. His head is above the white rock. His tentacles are to the right of the white rock and around counter clockwise. I looked for something to poke him, but he was gone a minute later.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Saw a jellyfish

Aequorea Victoria jellyfish off the coast of California. See full resolution‎ (1,600 × 1,200 pixels, file size: 450 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

Joshua and I were snorkeling north of Sousse this evening. We happened across a small jelly fish that resembled an Aequorea Victoria. Joshua did a quick u-turn for the beach. We were about 50 yards from the shore.

I didn't want anything to happen to him, off alone. What if he saw another jelly fish on his way back without me? So I quickly grabbed his arm with one hand. I studied the transparent jellyfish, less than 3 inches in diameter, with black specks around its bell perimeter. Joshua will say it was much larger! I couldn't see any long tentacles.

Josh enjoyed looking at our jellyfish for a very short time. It started to swim toward our faces. :-0 Joshua shouted through his snorkel tube, "I'm getting out of here!" As I held him tight, I raised my right hand and pushed enough water toward the jellyfish to change its direction. Then it propelled itself gently out to sea, a beautiful sight to see! Wish we had a camera with us.

Some extremely important rules of SCUBA diving or snorkeling we learned in Dakar, Senegal:
  • Always dive with a buddy! Never, ever, dive alone! Keep an eye on your buddy. Make sure everything is OK. When something happens to you, your buddy could be the difference between your life and death.
  • Relax! Being relaxed in water is vital in an emergency. When something happens, follow these steps: stop, breathe, think and act. Never panic and immediately flee or surface. You can make a minor situation fatal.

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