Sunday Funday on the island.

Up a little early so I’ll hopefully get to bed a little early. Tomorrow starts a long week of picture taking for the old fat boy. I will be doing double boats (4 dives a day) all the way through Thursday….. right now, Friday looks to be a single boat.  Doing double boats is not only physically taxing…. it is pushing my limit on my camera capabilities as far as keeping all my batteries charged up each evening/night….. Guess I’m up for it- only one way to find out. I just ordered some extra stuff that I really should have on hand anyway, but it will allow me to keep a better stash of charged batteries, such as occasions like this. Unfortunately, they probably won’t get here until Saturday, if then. Once again, a down side of living on this particular island. It’s all good though…….. Once again my Queen made a dandy breakfast. French toast this time with sausage and bacon…… Yum~! We sat and caught up on FB and the news. I kept an eye on the grass— it was soggy, even though we did not have any rain…… the humidity is that thick right now. Also watching the radar as multiple little rain showers popped up and came and went but still luckily missing us.  My Bride ran into town to return a defunct fan. Brand spanking new and it didn’t even last one day……  I used that opportunity to head out and fire up ye old lawn mower. That poor old thing….. it’s getting harder and harder to start, I put a new spark plug in it, but that didn’t really help….. but so far I can get it going and it chugs on through whatever I put it in…. [[knock on wood]] It doesn’t get a Fall and Winter break like state side mowers do…. this one gets fired up at least once a week and used…. every week…. all year round. I got the yard knocked out and just about cooled off about the time Angie came rolling back in. I loaded up the truck and ran into town to do the ATV yard……. done with that, swung out by the dump and dropped of the gar-bage’..… and back to the house. Sat and downed another Rehydrate before moving over to the coffee table to assemble the new fan. Fan done…. I’m sitting in front of it now letting my shirt dry out (and me) before I jump in the shower. Black clouds everywhere, even one lone rumble of thunder…. but no rain yet.

My Queen says she is hungry, so I’m gonna see if I can remedy that for her. Not sure what I’m gonna do for pictures for you. I know I have a ton of them you haven’t seen yet….. just not sure which ones they are — so apologies if you see duplicates~~~~~

Good Night Ya’ll > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Thankx for stopping in~!

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Saturday…..the 16th

Talking about ‘dancing’ with the Manta Ray yesterday….. like I said, I would have loved to seen a video of it….. but that is one big reason I like being behind the camera… I don’t have to be in front of it. There are the exceptions tho…. and that was one of them. I do have a video ‘of sorts‘…… the one in my mind. There are some things in my life I will absolutely never forget [I hope] and I’m sure that my dance with the Manta Ray will be one of them. Something I have seen probably Hundreds if not Thousands of times wishing I could be that person dancing with a Manta Ray…….. now- been there, done that, has the memory~! That made up for the two very ‘challenging’ dives I had that day, that was extremely hard on these old nerves, as well as taxing physically….. but we got everybody back that day safe and sound with some pretty great memories of their own. I even got cut in on the boat tips for the day~! (I’m normally not)  -It wasn’t a lot, but it means a lot to me because the rest of the crew are acknowledging my contribution…… besides the business I like to think I bring in because of my pictures.

Today (and tomorrow) is a day off…….. and other than prepping my gear for a very long week, doing some research on Medicare/Medicaid [for my Bride]. I haven’t done much of anything. My Bride made us a wonderful breakfast while investigated. We have got in several episodes of Manifest, before stopping so I can do this……. Tomorrow I’ll probably mow again as the monsoon we had the other night really made the grass spring up~! Aside from mowing…. don’t plan on doing much else…… just like a day off should be.

Good Night Ya’ll ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Thankx for stopping in~!

 

BIG day

Hi All, Yesterday started off like most of the others… breakfast, driving and diving. I was ‘bringing up the rear’ on today’s two dives and had my hands full with one diver in particular. The diver kept me busy enough keeping him safe, for the majority of both of the dives, my camera hung below me on it’s tether while I dealt with this diver. Kind of bummed out at the end of the first dive, I resigned myself to the fact that the second dive was probably not going to be any better. I was not wrong….. almost~~~ Once we got everybody back to the boat, that particular diver went on up and got on the boat. I still had half a tank left- so I started swimming around getting some people pictures and anything that I could find that was photo worthy. I finally got down to around 700 lbs of air and decided to go on up and do my safety stop (safety stop is a 3 to 5 minute stop made between 15 and 20 feet) during the final ascent of a dive ). Divers should be back on the boat with no less than 500 lbs in their tank [for multiple reasons] Normally during my safety stop, is when I fold in the lights in on my camera, hook up the carrying lanyard, put on the lens cover and detach the camera from the tether….. and that’s exactly what I did. As I started my slow ascent to the surface there was a small school of fish I had been watching (and photographing) and it had a big ole Barracuda watching them. About 4′ from the surface I saw this large dark shadow on the other side of the school of fish and it only took me a split second to realize what I was seeing…. A Manta Ray~! It took me even less time to yank the lens cover off of my camera and head back down towards it~! I “had” to get at least one decent shot of it before it was gone. Imagine my my surprise when it turned and came at me~!!! Even bigger grin when it started doing barrel rolls around me. For a solid two minutes we swam in unison as I took pictures, then video, back to pictures, more video and yet back to pictures. The Dive Master, said “It looked like you two were dancing”. Would have been great to had a video of that~!! When the Ray finally tired of playing with us went on her way— I realized I had followed her a long way and now had no friggin’ idea where the boat was at. Thankfully the Dive Master did and away we went. I was breathing hard from dancing with the Ray… Thankfully she stayed fairly shallow so I did not need to do another safety stop. I was a juuust a little lower on air than what I should have been.  😉  But OH SO Worth it~! Swimming with one of those gorgeous creatures is an item on my Life List that I can now happily check off~! A few more details tomorrow maybe… over my limit now.

Good Night Ya’ll – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Thankx for stopping in~!

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Diving and dodging raindrops

Another early morning as I get back into the swing of things again. I’m not getting to bed as early as I was because we are staying up to watch more of Manifest……. After I got up and moving- Went in and got my Bride up after about 30 minutes as today was her long day at Blues. She actually let me make her an egg sammich with a slice of cheese for breakfast this morning. Only one egg – but it’s a start~! I had my usually belly filler and we were both soon out the door.

My two dives today were pretty tame as in didn’t interact with anything today that could kill me (other than some of the crazy a$$ drivers on this island)…. guess I should say underwater…. but still- a fun group and most really decent divers. There was enough Staff today – all I did was take pictures. I still help unload tanks though…. I cannot stand there and drink my icy cold Budweiser and watch the rest of the group lugging tanks and gear around~! (Guess I could go ahead and leave– hehehe… that way I wouldn’t have to watch them…… AWWw quit– you know I wouldn’t do something like that~!!  😉

Back, showered and was just sitting down when my Queen rolled up – so a shorter than usual day for her— she brought some KFC home for dinner and I have to tell you- it was tasty~! Actually made half way decent for a change. Fingers all good and greasy- now my mouse is slippery and I have greasy smudges all over my computer keyboard….. dammit Emmit~!  😉

Angie has her short day tomorrow at Blues….. I’m diving again. Maybe my last dive day for the week. Angie and I am helping the ‘Island Kids’ out on Friday. They have friends and family in so Angie is going to run the office and I am leading one bike on a tour. So a change of pace for a day. Not sure if I’m diving any on the weekend or not. Still need some recuperation time I think. Next week has the potential for some intense diving…. possibility of 3- 4 tank days in a row……yeah… I should probably take the entire weekend off to rest up for that…. just in case  😉

Had a pretty awesome Thunderstorm come sneaking in on us coming up from the South—– lots of rain and thunder. I know I have said it before- but that thunder sounds so awesome rolling uninterrupted out across the water….. Awesome~! Lights just blinked… DAMMIT Emmit~! I better get this posted before it goes completely out~!   I think that’s it…. some pictures for you from today……

Good Night Ya’ll > > > > > > > > > > > > > Thankx for stopping in~!

Check out the reflection in this guys glasses

 

Diving Days……

Up a lot earlier than I wanted to be…… this sleeping in the past several days kinda got me spoiled. I got plenty of sleep though – staying up a shade longer last night than I intended to, to get in another  couple of episodes of Manifest…… Still very intriguing~!!! Got batteries all bump charged and loaded into my camera – all my gear in the truck and made me a small breakfast- even though I wasn’t in the mood for it (which is rare).  I am always glad that I do though….. cause I wind up needing the energy. Today was no exception…. Two fun dives with a fairly decent bunch of divers. There were a couple of newbies on the load but they did pretty good. Got to try and call some sharks, saw a Lion Fish and a gorgeous Hawksbill turtle….. Back to the dock and boat unloaded… back to the house to my Queen. Had to run to the air port to get the neighbors, they’re back now…. lot’s of little distractions since I’ve been back — so cutting this one short (still a couple of distractions to contend with)….. Diving again tomorrow~~~!

Good Night Ya’ll + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Thankx for stopping in~!

 

 

Grass & Oysters

Slept in ever so slightly this morning after staying up until almost midnight last night….OMG~! I know right….. Almost unbelievable~!! We found a new series we like and just could not tear our selves away from it. Series is called Manifest. It is a LOT like Resurrection…. only newer twist. Three seasons and we are already half through the first one. Love it. Got up and started our day on line….. guess we’re not THAT old yet…. but best source of information of the few options we have here on our little rock. Some FB (best way to keep up with our families). I wanted to make today a mowing day- as I expect to be diving the rest of the week…. but the local forecast was calling for an 80% chance of rain today and 60% chance the rest of the week….. dammit Emmit~! I finished up a most righteous breakfast of French Toast, sausage and Bacon with a big ole glass of milk and settled in smugly knowing I could let my big ole belly bag out full of that goodness and not have to worry about mowing….. hehehehehe…… wait a minute…. it’s been several hours now, no rain – the sun is shining….. the grass is dry….. DAMMIT Emmit~!! So I waddled my big full belly out and for the next 3 hours, mowed, weed eated and worked around the yard. Tried to go into town to get the ATV yard mowed while I was at it- but circumstances dictated I leave it alone [for now]…….  so I came on back to the house- cooled off, had a shower and scheduled a dinner for my Queen. A place here on our end of the island has started advertising they have Oysters…… OMG-OMG…… we have GOT to get there so my Bride can have Oysters. I confirmed they indeed did have Oysters, made a reservation and after another couple of episodes of Manifest— headed into town for Oysters (for my Queen)~! Got there, got seated…. ordered a couple of drinks and a couple of shrimp cocktails to get us started….. Then on to the main course~!!!  Now one thing I do know about my Queen and her Oysters….. they have to go on a cracker with enough other ‘stuff’ – they don’t really taste like Oysters anymore…….. but that’s how she likes them….. I’m sorry— what’s that ??? What in the HELL do you mean you don’t have any crackers??? How the $%^&*( does an “UPSCALE” joint like this one not have crackers????? Jeez Louise……. Long story short….. my Queen enjoyed her Oysters….. my “famous” fried chicken needs a better publicist.. Fries were decent— Cheese cake was excellent.. chocolate what ever it was needed work and the service was decent….. weirdly…. one of the better experiences we have had at this particular establishment.  Due to the fact they are the ONLY place on the island to get Oysters now….. I’m sure we’ll be going back…… but going to bring crackers with us….. just in case.

Good Night Ya’ll > > > > > > > > > > > > > Thankx for stopping in~!

 

Back to ‘work’

Normally a day off today- and would have been a day of recuperation after family leaves…. but today was “JR Dive Day” at the shop – and that is almost always a ‘have-to-do’ dive for pictures. Besides – I was ready to take a swim…. after all – it’s been a couple of days since my last dive  😉  I opted to skip the 2 morning dives…. primarily because my touchas was draggin’ from a hectic week and besides that- the boat was packed~! I think I may have mentioned before, I do not like the boat when it’s crowded….. for multiple reasons. So, I waited until the 1 afternoon dive today, the JR dive boat. This is a day the shop sets aside each month, so the young kids can come out and dive. It is also a great time to for the parents to go on a dive with their kids and get in some real quality time with them. It’s always a fun dive and lots of fun on the boat as well. The little folks get an extra special kick out being able to jump off the top of the boat after diving. Outside of some pretty ugly rain showers after we got up out of the water – you couldn’t have asked for a nicer day….. The dive went well checking out the Shallow Wrecks, visibility was good and almost no current~! Perfect~! I got lots of pictures and just not got them put up……. now some time to write. I am taking tomorrow off. The plan was to get the mowing caught back up again, but I guess we have a week of rain coming at us – so we’ll see if I get the mowing done or not. I have several other odds and ends [inside] I need to contend with if it does rain…. or I can just sit and do nothing. I go back to ‘work’ Tuesday again.

I found a bunch of pictures of Steph and Josh’s visit that I forgot I had, so I need to get them edited so I can share them with you. For now—- I’m gonna enjoy this nice cool breeze blowing through the house…. may even try and get in a late movie……

Good Night Ya’ll * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Thankx for stopping in~!

 

 

Just WOW~!

What a whirl wind these last 10 days have been……. It seems like one long blink ago and it’s already over. We JUST got notice our latest crew just landed back in Atlanta safe and sound. After dropping them off at the airport, we bid a sad adieu to Stephanie, Josh and the boys and came back to the house to [admittedly enjoy] the quiet and the fact we didn’t have to go anywhere this afternoon. We LOVE having family and friends in – but the pace can be a bit hectic for us sometime……. but we made it and sat quietly and enjoyed a drink. We munched a little bit and decided we wanted something more than munching. My Bride wanted Taco’s so I begrudgingly acted like I would love to go out with her for Taco’s. She had her Taco’s and I had a fairly decent dressed burger with spicy fries along with a ‘cold drink’ or two…………….

SOOOO many things we did to tell you about….. and even managed a couple of dives in amongst them things…… I have pictures of everything we did to share with you….. just not where sure to start….. beginning I guess would be the best place. Tired this evening so a probably edited version tonight as I try and get back into our normal routine.

After scraping my jaw off of the floor – we got everybody hauled out to their ‘cottage’ and the boys quickly stripped down to their underwear (since their swim suits were still packed away) and into that gorgeous blue water~!! Rest of that day was a blur……I’m sure there was alcohol involved and some food over at the diner……. I’m gonna look for some pictures and call it a night as I try and get back into the habit of typing~~~~~~

Good Night Ya’ll – – – – – – – Thankx for stopping in~!

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Doors…. officially BLOWN~!!!!

I roused this morning after a miserable night’s sleep… took just over 2 hours to FINALLY fall asleep last night (even in the luxury of our nice cool bedroom)….. finally drifted off to a half a$$ slumber only to be waken by what I initially thought was someone knocking on our door. After listening a little closer and chatting with the neighbor later that morning — turns out it was gun shots……. great…….. Never got full back to sleep after that and finally got up by 05:30 – I was afraid I was gonna keep my Queen awake by wallering…. and she had a tough enough sleep the way it was. I was kinda looking forward to today — a busy day up on the mountain clearing trails, a quick shower then help the islands kids haul in a group of family they had coming in….. then back to the house to get everything put together and charged for a morning of diving the next morning — getting to try out my brand spanking new system. I was amped. Afraid we wouldn’t have as much time as we needed – I got up on yon mountain top just a smidge after 07:00 and just ‘went like hell’ for about 3 hours. Got all of ‘my’ areas done and hauled on down the trail to find Shawn. My pick-um-truck on an ATV trail……. it did amazing well. Got together with Shawn and formulated our plan….. although to me a ‘mysterious‘ plan – I fell in line and did what I was told to do. I did stray a touch when I ran on into town and got the ATV yard cleaned up as well. I had all the gear I needed…. I was already dripping wet with sweat – AND- I could get it done and still have time to get my shower and meet Cynthia at the airport. I was told my truck was needed to haul LOTS of baggage – and they needed a “crowd” to welcome the group as they had never had a rowdy reception at an airport before. Sounded [mostly] legit to me……. well, I mean….. trying to figure out what Island Daughter has rattling around in that pretty little skull of hers is a challenge sometimes….. so in the spirit of the island…. I just went with it. I was just happy to be done mowing stuff.

We got to the airport – Sign in hand – waiting to make a rowdy reception for people we’ve never met. Not knowing who to look for we stood and stared and asked – is that them? About that time a little dude came into view (wearing a massive pair of sunglasses) and I thought – Damn… that looks like my ‘Mess‘….. before I could process that – another little dude came into view (without a massive pair of sunglasses) and I recognized him immediately as my Deuce… my buddy, Will~! Here came Stephanie and Josh right behind them. I’m sure my jaw dropped out from under my mask and hit the floor. (They weren’t due in for another 2 days) Apparently there was a WHOLE bunch of planning and conniving and coercing and all them others things behind our backs— and they all got us. Minds officially friggin’ blown~!!!!  Already over my limit here…. so will save some for tomorrow [if I get the chance to write] tonight everybody is tuckered out after a very long day and an hour or so on the beach before dinner…… Icing on today’s “cake”, the dive I was scheduled to do tomorrow…… includes Steph and Josh….. this is one very happy camper right here~!! Vera– posts for the next 10-11 days may be a little sketchy…. so bear with me please  😉      )

Good Night Ya’ll + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Thankx for stopping in~!

The view from my "office" this morning....My ‘view’ from my “office” this morning….. St. Thomas and St. John in the distance.

Carambola Resort down in the lower left corner~!

 

 

Toys and Chores…….

Good Evening Ya’ll……. Sitting here at the table with my bride now [finally] home…. The sun is just now starting to set into a fiery blaze of Orange in the Western sky…… fans here in the house are running full tilt….. oldies are playing in the background (TV)….. I just finished two Filet O Fish that my Bride brought home with her….. I have my other evening stuff done and time for a couple of words for you all. Since Angie had to go to work early (@ Blues) she was up early to get ready for her day….  I stayed in bed until about 06:30 when my bladder couldn’t take it any more and rolled on out. I wanted to give her some time to herself….. as I thoroughly enjoy that “my” time in the early morning…… offered to make her [a decent] breakfast and of course she turned it down…….. Eventually on her way – with no boat today – I was once again left to my own devices…….  what-to-do……. what-to-do. Made me a righteous breakfast, got caught up on the noise that is FB…… enjoying the comments about me handling the snake…… honestly – he was a little feller – it really wasn’t that big of a deal. If I come across one of the 5′ – 6′ versions known to be crawling around the island…… not so sure I will be as brave. Them buggers can hurt a full grown man. As it turns out…. I might find out tomorrow. Since the boat is once again idled….. and I did about all the bottle-a$$ing around I intended to do today – so I obligated myself to a morning up on the trails with Island Son….. clearing some of the ATV trails….. a fine and dandy place to run across released snakes…….. I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it….. I think [at least] part of the afternoon is obligated to going to the airport and welcoming some of the “kidz” family….. I think mostly they need the bed of my truck for luggage…… but- “It’s all good”…….. Should be a fun afternoon.

I got my long awaited package today from Monterey CA…. containing one very awesome camera housing. I spent the better part of the afternoon today ‘piddling’ which including getting all of my underwater gear ready for the next dive~! A new screen ‘door’ up for my Bride on the front door….. A mostly mind warping trip to Home Depot — GEEEEZ I hate that place….. but got what I was after and back here for more piddling~~~~ I looked over to the yard next door….. the grass is still tall where the older gentleman grabbed his gear and left after finding the snake yesterday…… I shouldn’t laugh, but it IS funny~~~~ SO- camera and housing ready to be dived….check~! All gear ready for a half day of clearing trails tomorrow ….. check~! Piddly stuff done around the house…… Check~!  Ready for a shower…. CHECK~!!!

Good night Ya’ll ? ? ?  ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Thankx for stopping in~~!

Vase Sponge
Caribbean Reef Shark
More Vase Sponges
Mostly Hard Corals
Stove Pipe Sponges
Flamingo Tongue