Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sunday Diving and Movie Night

Last Sunday we did two afternoon dives with Robert, Glen, Tina and Joel. Tina got to pick the dive site, since she missed out on last week's boat dive. She chose Obyan, and it was a perfect day for Obyan dives. Instead of hanging out in one big group, we broke out into buddies this time. Below you see Harry and Robert, buddy team number one, leading the dive. We stopped by a big sand patch with this pretty soft coral in the middle. And we found a few nudibranchs along the way. This shot turned out pretty good. Joel and I were buddy team number 2. We both had cameras, so we stopped alot for pictures. Glen spotted this eel. We saw another eel a bit further on the dive. I really like this picture of him. He looked pretty long with his body all wound around the coral. Glen and Tina were buddy team number 3. Glen spotted a big puffer fish, and I got some great shots of it and Glen. But my pictures haven't all uploaded to smugmug yet, so maybe I can post those later. Tina is trying out the new diveskin. I think she likes this one better than the old one. There were plenty of lion fish around. I got some great shots of some really big ones, but I'm still waiting on those pictures to upload, too. I saw this really pretty blue clam along the way. I think Harry is taking some lion fish photos in this picture. I really liked this spot, with the different kinds of soft coral - very beautiful. I'll post more later when I have my other pictures. But it was two very relaxing and fun dives at Obyan on Sunday. After the dives we decided to have movie night at our place. Chris rigged up his projector and screen, and surround sound speakers. So we ate pizza, made some popcorn and watched "Casablanca". That was alot of fun and a good way to end the weekend.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Dive Skin Modeling

My other dive skin got a rip in the leg, and it seems like Harry's dive students were needing to borrow it often, so I invested in a new skin. I really wanted a separate top and bottom, but apparently that isn't available at my normal dive gear shopping sites, so I shopped for a new one piece skin. Henderson has this model out for men and women, called Hot Skin. The women's version has this pretty strip of tropical flowers down the sleeve. The men's has a tribal print or ocean waves down the sleeves. When I first saw Harry's pictures of me, I was a little surprised that I was so bright under water. Michelle said I was an easy dive buddy to find. Ha. But I guess Harry's new spiffy lens filter makes this photo even clearer than reality, so I'm not quite that colorful on the dive. The fish seem to like it ok. Here I am checking my air, with Joel following close behind. There were 12 of us on these dives, both done from the Aqua Jet boat. As usual, they were good dives. I'm also enjoying the Mares BCD, a nice women's model BCD. It's a comfortable fit, with padded shoulder support and back padding. The only thing I would add is a big pocket. Ever wonder what you'd look like with a fish face?Here's a group of us checking out the rubble at Lau Lau for nudibranchs and other interesting critters. I saw one here, but I saw a really big nudi at the shipwreck. The turtle population was really down the last few dives. I'm guessing poachers again. Very sad. The turtles are so friendly and docile, and hundreds (probably thousands) of tourists enjoy getting to see them and take pictures. I think this might be more what I look like without the lens filter. There is another diver below me, shivering. The water has definitely been a little chilly this past winter (82 degrees this day), but I stayed comfortable in the new skin for all the dives this weekend. And I remembered to bring fleece jackets for Michelle and I to wear on the boat ride in . It's true - there were better things to look at than my hot new dive skin. Here is one of Harry's eagle ray shots. He got some really good ones this weekend. He might post some on his blog, be sure to check it out. None of my photos turned out that great this weekend. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Boat Dives - Naftan and Ice Cream

Sunday afternoon we did two boat dives. Harry took along divers : Tina S., Glen H., Robert H., Les W., and Lewie T. A Japanese group also had 7 divers, so we had a full boat. This is our boat captain in the photo below. I am fairly certain I heard him say "Argh!" and give a wicked laugh when our boat leaped over one of the swells on the way out to Naftan. Just kidding, and yep, it was a rowdy ride, but everyone did well. The Japanese girls screamed a couple times, then laughed. It was fun. Once inside the protection of the point, it was great diving. Robert took this next photo. I decided to include it in the blog since there were no other pictures of me (I had the camera) and this was a classic shot of Harry. Thanks, Robert. Here is some of our group - Les, Glen, Tina, Robert, and the boat crew standing on the pontoon. Harry is standing in the back as the boat leaves the Saipan shoreline, but he had to move around a bit to avoid the spray. Robert didn't move, so he was soaked by the time we got to the site. It looked like he'd already been diving. Robert decided to wear his goggles to keep the salt spray out of his eyes. Funny. : )And here we are, at beautiful Naftan Point. This is Tina, enjoying the great visibility. It was such a beautiful clear blue out there. And here's Lewie, going over the edge of the wall and looking down. This is the first time I've seen a diver come to a screeching halt and just hang there. But then, it's a pretty fair drop, about 130 feet. This is Harry close to the bottom of the wall. He looks tiny for a reason, it's a long way down. Harry is back to the top of the wall in this photo, checking out the coral under the boat. And he pauses for a nice underwater grin. : )Here is some of the coral formations and a bit of soft coral. There were alot of fish tucked under the ledges of the cliffline, but I didn't take a picture of them. Here's Glen and Tina doing their safety stop at the rope. And now we move on to our Ice Cream dive. Harry, Robert and Tina "hanging" out below. There were no eagle rays today. But it was still a fun dive. All around the ledges of the big Ice Cream coral head were little pockets of anenome and anenome fish. This guy was either shy or playing hide and seek with me. Can you see him?These guys weren't shy. They were on regular guard duty. The sun came out and lit up this shot for me. Very nice. This clam was tucked into the coral. He was fairly big. And here's a group of the fish under one of the shelf layers. One of the boat crew, checking on us to see if we were heading up yet. We all climbed aboard and headed into shore after two great dives, plenty of laughs, and a really fun day. We're going again next Sunday - want to join?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friday Night Pro Volleyball Tournament

Friday night we went to watch the pro volleyball tournament at PIC. We don't normally watch volleyball, but Jennifer Snyder was Harry's latest OW student, so we went to watch her play. This is Jenn getting ready to serve.
And here is Jenn and Janelle, the American Women's Pro team. They won all exhibition games that night. Good job, girls. Jenn taking a quick break between matches. This was a big deal for the island. There was a large crowd at PIC enjoying the competitions. And here's the proud Dive Instructor with his newest student, Jenn, and her volleyball partner, Janelle. It was an awesome evening - great competition, fun seeing a bunch of our friends, and this really sweet sunset.

More Diving

Harry has been doing so much diving lately, that I don't see much of him during the week any more. By the time he gets home he just drops into bed and falls asleep within minutes. Don't get me wrong, we are very thankful for all the work. It is truly a blessing. And Harry did finally take a minute to post on his blog, so you need to check that one out, as his last OW student was professional volleyball player Jennifer Snyder. I got to go along on one of her dives - a night dive, which was her first dive after her certification. Yep, Jenn is an ethusiastic diver. Harry took this picture below of a puffer fish on the night dive. It was a big one. I took this picture of a lion fish inside a small hole in the coral. I think I took this one at Lau Lau, but it could have been Obyan because we saw alot of lion fish there lately. Harry had some dive customers from Pohnpei this past weekend. I went along on their Saturday morning dive. Morris and Karine seemed to enjoy Saipan diving, in spite of living on an island where they can dive alot also. Harry the faithful dive guide, patiently waiting as his customers take photos. Karine checking out the Lau Lau rubble for nudis or other interesting critters. We all stopped to take pictures of the anenome and anenome fish. I had better luck catching them in good positions for the camera this time. This guy even posed and smiled for me. Very enjoyable dive days. In the next couple of posts, I'll put up some pictures of our two boat dives from Sunday afternoon. We dove Naftan Point and Ice Cream.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Good Weekend

Wow, blogger is a bummer today. This is my second attempt at writing a post about the weekend. One of Harry's dive students lost my camera on the rope at Obyan, so I won't have photos for this post. But no worries, I'll replace the camera soon.
I'll just post the short version of the weekend this time, if it decides to post.
Saturday was a 3 dive day, with one morning dive at Lau Lau with dive customers, then two boat dives with the same customers and John and Angelo. Mr. Lee brought some dive customers from Guam too. We all went out on Scott's boat, which is always fun as he has great boat crew. John is a new diver on island, and he'll be working in the lab at the hospital. I think everyone knows Angelo. The dives were both great - very relaxing. We saw a couple eagle rays and scores of fish. Great visibility.
Sunday we did two morning dives at Obyan with John, Tina, Glen and Robert. Obyan had pretty good visibility also, but some wave action and a bit of current. But it was the usual Obyan sunlit aquarium with fish and coral castles everywhere. I always enjoy my Obyan dives. Harry had two dive customers to take back to Obyan in the afternoon for two more dives. But I opted for some girl time with Sarah and went to Fiesta Resort Spa for a massage package. It was awesome, and so relaxing. I always feel renewed after a spa visit there - both spiritually and physically. As we sipped hot tea and nibbled cookies in our flower bath, I was thanking God for the opportunity to enjoy so many special moments - the sun, the sea, and the relaxing spa. I am blessed.