Well I sent a bit of a guilt trip email to my 2 referees who with less than 24 hours to go hadn't submitted my references. Max asked me to work on January 2 and I hemmed and hawed but in the end I said I would becasuse I had given up on the idea that the references would be in by the deadline so I decided that I might as well do something useful with my day. Thank heavens, everything worked out a-ok in the end. The divers didn't turn up but my referees did and they submitted their docs in time. Ahhh stressful but one down and two to go.
It's been really busy at the shop with 2 full boats going in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. I worked for the next 3 days straight, morning and afternoon, which means you get back at about 2pm, grab your stuff, hop out of the boat and someone directs to hop in another boat with a bunch of strangers and a styrofoam container containing lunch. It was great though. A stong current that comes through here very year at this time has dropped the water temperature but increased the visibility tremendously. I was paired with Peter and Nene for most of the dives and we just did them all together which was a blast.
I showed Peter and all the excited divers where the lobster party was at El Piedro del Medio but my star moment was slowly pushing a giant conger eel out of the sand for everyone to watch. I was on cloud nine and even clapped for myself underwater. All the way from that to my disaster of a day the next day. Perfect first dive, a crazy current on the second dive had us pushed much too deep and we eventually just gave up and surfaced. I got sent out again in the afternoon and were dumped at the same site with the stong current. We descended carefully and were shocked to find the current gone but the clear water was gone along with it. We couldn't see anything. I told Heike to stay close to me and told the 2 other divers, who were cousins, to stay together.
I had told Nena a few weeks before that I'd never lost a diver and she had said 'you will'. I pretty much ignored that comment because I turn around to check on people so frequently. Well, today was the day. I kept turning around and waiting to make sure everyone was together. About 30 minutes in I only saw Heike. I told her to wait and I swam a little way back and found one of the cousins heading off to the left . He hand signaled that his cousin had headed off in that direction so I got everyone to follow me and swam quickly to see if we could find him. Nope nada. The rule in diving is look for one minute and surface so that's what we did. I yelled for the boat captain to come and help us search but about 2 minutes later the guy popped up. Very scary.
If only that were the worst of my day. For our last dive I made sure to brief everyone on the one minute search rule and we were off. The visibility was better and were just following a wall. what could happen? The guy disappeared again! I looked for a minute and then hauled everyone up to the surface. The boat captain was close by and came to help us look. We waited and waited and about 5 minutes later some fishermen in a boat about 500 meters away were calling that they could see his bubbles. I couldn't freaking believe it. The boat dragged us out there and I descended to try and grab him but I lost his trail about 20 meters down and had to come back up slowly. By the time I surfaced he was even further away. It took about 20 minutes and 2 more times of me descending until I spotted him. I grabbed his tank, spun him around and hauled him up to 5 meters where we did a safety stop. At the surface I asked him if he had heard me mention the one minute rule. Ya, he, uh, forgot. Poor guy though. Everyone was so mad at him. I told him I was really glad he was OK because I really thought he had died.
Out dancing and drinking rum with Heike and some guys from the hostel to help me forget about my terrible diving day. Its now the end of high high season so things have died down quickly. Just relaxing and hanging out with hostel people. Something I haven't been able to to do before because I was always revising essays of studying Spanish or Chinese. God, I'm such a geek. Such a weird feeling to be so relaxed. Even better my ATM card finally came (Thanks Andrea!) I rushed out to the store and bought lots of silly things like good shampoo and conditioner and expensive tins of corn. OI realized that I've spent only about $20 a day here so I'm really pleased with my decision to return to Taganga and will spend the next few days splurging out.
I can't leave until all my references are in. Everything is done on my end. Everyone made the deadline on the 10th and I'm just waiting for the 15th is the last deadline and then I'm outta here!