Friday, September 22, 2006


I like to dive. I am not one of those "hard core" divers. I don't keep a dive log. I don't track my air usage. I dive with short body bording fins (I need to get some split fins soon). I keep loosing masks, so I have to borrow from friends. I get cold, so I don't like to dive for more than about 45 minutes.

BUT... diving is fun, it is something different to do. I prefer wreck dives. I like to imagine what the vessels were like before they were under the water, think about people walking on the crumbling, overgrown, decks, leaning over the rusted railings. Kwaj lagoon has lots of WWII wrecks. I will post a great link to the Scuba club website with some great info about the wrecks for those who are interested. Right now, it is way past my bedtime and I wanted to get these picutres posted and explained.

I am also not a big underwater photographer like so many Kwaj divers. I just like to chill, hang out and watch little critters or kinda meditate underwater. I have lots of friends to take GREAT underwater pictures. Often there are shots of other divers taken but no one has ever sent me pictures of me underwater. My dive buddy last week did!! AND video. It was fun to see ( is my form...?) So, now I get to prove that I do indeed dive.

First shot is me with the 2 new nurses on Island, Val and Marty (Dan is taking the picture) - CHEESE!!!! Then me checking depth, water temp etc... on the descent. Lastly me, cradling a huge spotted sea cucumber. There are TONS of sea cukes out here. You have your typical small to medium sized dark greenish black, some cool spikey orange ones - they're big, and this was the first smooth spotted cukes I'd seen. I gave him a little lovin' then put him back down to make his slow trek back to wherever he was headed.

My favorite thing to see underwater is a starfish. I don't know why but I love them and they're not really all that common around here, so whenever I see one it is always a special treat.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Surf day

My surf buddy, Drew, got back on island yesterday, so today we went surfing at one of the breaks we’ve named “Mushballs” it is the south tip of Bigej (pronounced BeeGee) Island. Luckily my bud is a boat captain and has a fairly flexible schedule (he just got back from a month long trip to and from Hawaii) so we are often the only ones off during the weekday to take advantage of the surf.

So, 9:15 am I get a call “Can you be ready and at the marina in 20?”
“Yep, I’m there”…. Ugh… I am tired but haven’t been in the water lately. 20 minutes to eat, brush teeth, throw on bathing suit, toss rashgaurd, booties and snacks into my surf backpack (which already contains: sunblock, lipblock, surfwax, and an extra leash) I also brought my iPod and new iPod speakers. READY! … only 9 minutes late.

So it was just the 2 of us on the break. NICE. When we dropped anchor (it is about a 20 minute power boat ride North up the East Reef) The tide was low and the waves small. After about 30 minutes though, there was more water over the obstacle course of coral heads and the waves were holding up about knee to chest high. The sets were a little far apart, the first wave being the best of them… then about an hour into it (after low tide) the swell picked up and we got some good rides. Overall it was a GREAT morning.

Sitting on my board with one other person on a break… and I just think… dang I am lucky. I also thought “I love surfing”. Now, since I am still a novice, there are plenty of days when I think “I HATE this, I wanna go in.” Those are the days where I can’t seem to catch anything and when I do I’m off balance, eat it and get worked in the surf. Or my weak arms are paddling against a current stronger than I am. You really learn to respect the ocean when you surf. I know that sounds like weird surf blabber but it really is true.

What I’ve learned about learning to surf is: go out… every chance you get. At first you suck. You get worked, you don’t know what the hell to do. Then you get your first good wave then your first pop-up then the first time it all comes together and it doesn’t feel like luck as much as everything coming together at the right time … then you get your first drop, your first turn…. Then you are hooked.

I lived in Hawaii for 2 years and surfed occasionally. I surfed with one of my best friends. She was really INTO surfing. She had the passion. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t have the passion. I just couldn’t feel it. Then I came out here, started going out everytime anyone went out, whenever I could. I remember the first day it “all came together”. I think of that day as one of the best surf days of my life. The day I realized the passion.

p.s. my back is much better. NO PROBLEMS. I can't say the same about my Right ankle that is now trashed from soccer!!!!

p.p.s. I also had a great massage this afternoon from a new lady on island who is a massage therapist. See, for all the abuse my body takes, I give back to it by trying to get all those knots out and work those sore muscles :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A view I havn't seen in a while

There has been no swell lately. Or if there is, the winds have been blowing it out.
Here is a veiw of the front of my surfboard. I have 4 surfboards boards. A 9'0", 8'6", 7'6" (my favorite board) and a 6'10" - the only one I have never taken out in the surf is the 6'10" but sometimes I use it to paddle around in the lagoon. Interestingly, that is the one I am currently fixing. It fell off my shelf (see picture below - it is the one NOT in a bag) and the fall crushed the back corner. I had to cut out that part and rebuild it. Now I just have to sand down the resin I added to fill the missing corner. My back injury (and maybe a little procrastination) has prevented me from fixing it yet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My View Lately

Yep, this is the view from my bed....
OK… I know … but I did it lifting a SCUBA tank, no big wakeboarding jumps, surfing or anything exciting like that. My first real back injury. Not the “wake-up-in-the-morning-after-an-active-day-soreness” back pain. A real spasm, who knows really what happened as I didn’t want an Xray. I think I would be afraid to really know what my disc spaces look like.

I struggled through for a few days with ice, heat, ibuprofen before finally going to see one of the docs. It just wasn’t getting any better and would still occasionally spasm at work. So, the doc gave me some meds that helped. I am bummed though… I had to miss our first soccer game of the season, I haven’t been able to run, surf, wakeboard or dive for about a week now. I did go for a long walk the other day which was good but it just wasn’t the same. Now the back feels better but certain movements make my left hip sore. It is probably because of the body compensating for that injury. I have been trying to keep it stretched out and working my abs. Hopefully it will be all healed up in no time and I can hit the water again. Keep your fingers crossed!

Yeah, I know… I am getting too old for this :) The aging athlete body! Luckily there is a new massage therapist on island. I had my first session last Friday and am planning on going every 2 weeks until my back feels better than do my regular monthly maintenance massage!