Monday, November 8, 2010

Wrecks and Reefs

One of the biggest draws in choosing Aruba for our fun little get away was the scuba diving there.  They have several amazing wrecks just off the coast.  I had done mostly reef diving before this and the idea of swimming into a WWII shipwreck was more than a little intriguing.
We met our dive group at the dock first thing on Tuesday morning.  Most of the other divers with our Tuesday group had already done several dives with each other and seemed to have tons more experience than the four of us.  It was a bit intimidating, but we were all thrilled to be diving again.
I rented an underwater camera from the dive shop.  The battery died on me after a few shots on the first of our four dives but I was back in business and snapping away for our 3rd and 4th dives on Thursday.
I got a little too close to this moray eel before realizing that was what the rest of the dive group was staring at.  The dive master actually had to grab me by the tank and give me a hearty yank backwards before I was aware of the beast below me!
It is always unbelievable to swim right along with the fish.
And to see a sea turtle gliding through the water right in front of you is such a treat.  They always seem a bit majestic to me.
When you are down so deep in the ocean the random vivid colors seem almost shocking amidst all the blue surrounding you.
This fatty fish below was huge.  Longer than my arm and almost as thick around as my torso.  He had a face only a mother could love.
This little fishy looked like he was nibbling on Reed!
After exploring the coral reefs we were ready to check out some of the wrecks that Aruba is famous for.   
We saw a smaller boat called the Debbie II and the Antilla, a 200 ft long German freighter that was sunk here during WWII.  Both of them were so cool to see!

The prop...Pretty cool huh?
As fascinating as the wrecks and the reefs are, just the weightlessness of diving is exhilarating! There is a calm and peaceful feeling deep in the ocean.  Moving through all of it seemingly effortlessly is totally surreal.
 Coming back up is like a little jolt of reality.  You are instantly bombarded with the weather outside, the waves in the ocean, and trying to stay above the water to breathe takes effort.  To top it all off, you are suddenly aware of how funny you look in your mask as soon as you don't need it anymore!
Shelley and I had fun up on top near the captains chair as we watched the divers come back in and the dive masters and captain teasing with each other.  They were a fun group to spend our days with.

These were our dive masters for both days.   Ernie and Anwar (the merman)
Our smiles say it all.  These were good days.  Some of the best.  I would love to go back and do it all over again!

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