Friday, May 20, 2016

Did he just say night dive??

The last leg of the trip began with a little NTC at the villa. Running in Bali is a little different than Gili Trawangan. Gili T is an island about a mile in diameter. Even I'm not dumb enough to get lost there (seriously, I'm not). Bali is a different story.  There is no rhyme or reason to the streets, they are not identified (can I please get one Broadway Avenue or maybe a Pine Street) and they all look the same. There was no way I was going for a run. We have less that a week left in our trip and if I went out on my own it might take me that long to get back.  NTC is a terrific back up plan!!  After the workout, shower and breakfast we made it to the airport for the 90 minute flight to Flores island. 
The flight over was like everything else we have experienced over here. It was beautiful. We were told Indonesia is the land of over 15,000 islands and I certainly believe it. We had a light snack on the flight and like so much of what we have eaten over here, I'm not sure what it was.  Always be leery of food cooked in rolls on the local Indo airline.  The "new me" ate it without hesitation (while wearing flip flops of course.) I'm sure the roll was gluten free though. 
We made it to Blue Marlin Dive in Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. It was the first dive shop in the area 3 years ago and like everything else, the area is growing like crazy and there are 12 shops today. 
We hopped aboard the tender for the one hour trip to our home for the next three days, the Ikan Biru (Blue Fish). 
We barely get settled on the boat and Alexi (the "cruise director") informs us that our first dive will be a "sunset" dive. What comes after sunset?  Night time!  Are you f**king kidding me? Our first dive in Komodo with be a night dive?  What the hell?  I was just about ready to ask for a beer!  I immediately feel the heart rate begin to pick up speed.  

It's all making sense now....  You see, ever since we were in college, Marv has been a thrill seeker and I have been a little more conservative.  He enjoys pushing me to my limits and increasing my "pucker factor" any chance he gets. He surprised Cheryl and I and hired an instructor to join us during our trip in the boat at Komodo Park so we could get our advanced open water certification. So much for the relaxing "fun" dives above 18 meters. We will now go to 30 meters (for you mathematically challenged, that's 100 feet!!), night diving, negative entry dives and strong current "drift" dives and more book work.  Geez Marv, for the one hundredth time, WE ARE ON VACATION!!! 
Here is everyone getting ready for our first dive. Notice how close the sun is to going down as well as the evil grin on Marvs face (far right). As much as I hate to admit it though, if I'm ever going to learn how to dive  this is the place to do it. What a magnificent and beautiful place! Truly amazing. 

After a nervous trip to the bathroom (I did that to avoid going in my wet suit when my panic reflexes set in) we jumped in and had an incredible dive. You can actually relax a little more in the dark because you only focus on where the light is shining and not overwhelmed by all the other activity going on around you. It's really cool seeing the nocturnal creatures that come out at night.  Hearing your breath as you inhale and the bubbles release to the surface as you exhale in the pitch black of night while underwater is a little unnerving. You just resist the urge to imagine that Jaws may chew off your leg as he approaches unnoticed from beneath you.

We made it through with no issues and both Cheryl and I enjoyed our first dive here very much. Now where the hell is that beer!

The food on the boat is very delicious. Again, I'm not confident I know what any of it is and the cook speaks no English so we just dig in. We did see the crew catching fish off the back of the boat so I assume there is some fresh fish on the table somewhere. 
At 9 pm the crew turns the upstairs lounge area into our bedroom for the night.  Pretty unique idea and quite comfortable.   
There are ten of us sleeping up here and it kind of feels like summer camp. I hope there is not too much snoring, but who am I kidding, I'm so dang tired I won't hear them anyway. It has been quite a first day in Komodo.   

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