Wow, I finally found the time to read this thread - a tip of my hat to the divers here!
I'm more like Jan's mother: "She didn't have a problem with that cuz she could see the shore " I don't have a fear of the water, I would just prefer to see the shore AND the bottom! Although I do remember water skiing in my teens in Maine and whenever they'd swing wide through the cove all I wanted to do was get back to the shore - always had a fear of getting dumped in the weeds growing on the bottom of the lake! When we went to Belize we took a day trip to one of the small islands on a catamaran and did some snorkeling. I loved it but I wouldn't go into the "deep" water - only far enough out that I could still stand up without the water being above my neck - can you say "wimp"?
That would be an awesome sight, Holly. We saw a manta ray off of St. John. We could walk out right from the 'beach' at the place we were staying. At least that's what I think it was. I saw Roatan on a House Hunters Int'l show once. It looked great!
The place we stayed in Roatan had little bungalows that sat out in the water it was so cool. My pics fro Roatan need scanned so I don't have any to post but here is a web site for the place we stayed.
There are some beautiful underphotos in the gallery. http://www.cocoviewresort.com/index.html
The only rays I've seen were at Sea World! LOL! You could actually "pet" them. Very cool! Not ever encountered one of them on any dives. Lots of sand sharks, barracuda, moray eels, but nothing that would alarm me. Maybe I was a sheltered diver.
Beautiful photos in that gallery! Thanks for sharing that Holly! ;-)
My favorite fish were Angel Fish.They used to follow us on dives. Sometimes you could feed them.
I got caught up in a school of Blue Tang in Bonaire. They must have been eating plankton in the water and circled around me in a school. My dh said all he could see was my hair floating at the top of the school of fish and my bubbles! He couldn't see me at all, that's how many fish there were! They made a wall around me and were not even concerned that I was in the middle of their feeding frenzy. It was so cool! They are beautiful fish!
I would love to see big schools of fish. I would love to go to Bonaire, too. I use to watch the Reefcam on Bonaire but it has been a couple of years since I checked it out not sure they have a Reefcam anymore. It was an underwater camera and you could watch the fish swim by. So cool. I just went there and I saw several locations for webcams none of them were the Reef Cam. I have seen a few rays from time to time in open water but not a lot of them. Once on a wall dive we saw an eagle ray off the wall out in the big blue. He was out there just at the edge of our vision. You could just tell what he was and that he was there. I was hoping that he would circle around and comeback a little closer in but he didn't. We had Rays at the Aquarium a couple of really big ones a couple of pelagic rays and lots of the little friendly cow nose rays. We use to do a hand feeding show and they would flock you just like soft winged birds. Sometimes they would suck on your face mask and you could look right down into their mouths. One of my favorite jobs. They have a swim with the sharks program and I took both of my sons Jamie and Josh one year as a present. After you snorkel thru the shark tank you go into a separate stingray pool. Here is Josh feeding the cownose rays.
Holly - OH HOW COOL!!! Love your aquarium stories! What a great job to have had! Now that would be a dream job to me! I am enjoying your photos so much! Sorry I don't have mine available to upload. Maybe I can inquire if slides can be converted and put on a CD? I have tons of underwater photos. Lots of macro shots, too!
Becky, My older pics aren't on CD's either. I have a few CD's that are older that won't download to the new computers. I was a volunteer at the Aquarium for a couple of years and I would go 2 days a month. Every other Wednesday. Usually did 2 or 3 dives. Cleaned the tank floor scrubbed algae off the rock in the displays, the windows and the walk thru tunnel. We did a hand feeding show and dive show. We had a full face mask with a microphone and could hear and talk to the audience. Sometimes help with minor repairs and corral fish for the biologists. I loved doing it and it was a great way for me to get some time in the water between dive trips. You must have done a lot of diving before your children were born.
This is the top of the Shark Realm tank. Divers heading in to clean. You can see one of the sharks cruisin thru in the lower right corner.
That is soooo cool, Holly! What a awesome dive experience to be doing that several times a month! I would be sooo stoked! Love all the photos! I do have some photos that perhaps I can scan at one point to share them with everyone. I will have to see what I can find. But unfortunately, most are on slides.
I've really enjoyed reading this thread. I'm also drawn to the water and sometimes think it's an innate thing. One of the reasons I live where I am now is because the river is less than five miles away and a boat ramp is only two. I don't own a boat but it is on my dream list.
All of your dive experiences are so well written that I actually feel like I'm there myself. And the photos are just fantastic! I showed a coworker this thread and found she's always wanted to learn how to scuba dive too. We are going to look into how much lessons will cost and I was surprised to find the YMCA has discontinued classes.
Although the early bird may get the worm the second mouse gets the cheese.
Beck I will be looking forward to seeing some of your pictures. Have you ever gone to John Pennekamp State Park? We had gone down to the Keys for a week or so and I took the kids out on a snorkle boat. That was were the big barracuda with the fish hook in his mouth was. We went out and saw the Christ in the Abyss statue. I found a really good picture of Jamie getting ready to get in the water he was probably around 12 or 13. Needs to be scanned to post. Jamie and I were getting ready to try and swim down and get a better look at the statute and while I was giving him instructions about not touching anything because of the fire coral a school of fish swam in around us. As he put his face down in the water he saw all the fish and started yelling "Fish, Fish, lots of Fish" LOL Kids are so much fun. I found this youtube clip of the Christ in the Abyss statute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g3xU7xQn90
Carol, So glad that you and your friend are enjoying my reminiscing. That is too bad about the Y not running classes anymore. I am sure you will find a dive shop in Virginia you will like. Go and visit several and look around and talk to the divers at the shop. Let me know if you find one that you like.
Cozumel that is my dive partner I'm following her thru a cut in the coral
My first trip with a dive group was Grand Turk. I really wanted more dive time and I got some info via E-mail from the local dive shop about a group of divers going to Grand Turk. So I looked them up and checked out the trip they were putting together. Then I sent them an E-mail describing myself and my diving experience asking if they thought I would fit into their group and if they could match me up with a dive partner and roommate. When Ric got home I asked what he thought about my going on a dive trip alone without him or would he want to come along. So after a couple of discussions with Ric and emails between me and the trip organizers I took a chance and signed up. Ric decided not to go and the first time I met any of them was at the pre-trip party. They are just the best group of people. I got a great roommate and a great dive partner. It was just the best experience going on a trip where all you did was dive. I didn't have to fit my diving into anyone's vacation. It was all about the diving. We did 2 or 3 dives everyday what a great time. My dive partner was a Prof of Digital Photography and took the most beautiful pictures and made a CD for me.