Saturday, May 7, 2016

We pulled it off!

Today is Mother's Day and I want to start out by wishing Cheryl the best day ever (shouldn't be difficult considering where we are) and thanking her for being such a terrific Mother to our 5 kids (6 counting me). She is amazing. I love you!

While she and Jenna take a well deserved mother/daughter spa day to celebrate, I thought I'd find a quiet comfortable place and catch up on the recent events. It's been a memorable past few days so join me by getting a cup of coffee and a comfortable spot to relax. Kind of like this....
Notice I'm still going barefoot. Not loving it yet but I'm trying to push myself. 

We got up early Friday, in fact we've been getting up early every morning. I mean like 6:30 am early!  Sheesh!!  May have something to do with the fact we're going to bed at 11:00 pm exhausted every night. After a good morning workout (more on that later!) I went for a quick dip before we had to head to our second day of diver training. I noticed a friend decided to join me.
No reason to rub your eyes.  They are not deceiving you.  That is a Monitor lizard just enjoying an early morning swim like me. Hey lizards get hot too!  

After the swim with my new found friend it occurred to me that I was running low on shirts and needed to do some laundry. Simple enough I'll just go to the local laundromat. Wait, that's right, they don't have washing machines here.  No worries, a packet of detergent, a sink and a rack and I'm good to go. I just needed to avoid the lizard as I made my way to the clothes rack. 
Washing clothes in a sink is a learn as you go skill in that, even though they smelled pretty good coming out of the sink, after drying they didn't have that "Downey fresh" scent. But then I realized, that with potpourri of fragrances here including what the horses leave on the road, roasted garlic corn and salt air, a little Chris Winkler BO can only add to the ambiance. 

So off we go to day two of our diving course. Though the open water dive we made yesterday gave me more confidence I must say I am NOT comfortable breathing out of the tanks yet and am still a little anxious as we walk toward those gray tanks at the edge of the pool. 
The morning was spent almost entirely in the pool underwater going through drills. Sharing air, taking your pack off and putting it back on and Cheryl's favorite, taking off your weight belt and putting it back on while at the bottom of the pool. I'll let her provide the details when we get back but let's just say it's the stuff legends are made of.  It was awesome.  

The morning helped my confidence a lot and I was actually looking forward to the afternoon open water dive.  We dove on Sunset Reef and after some open water drills, we were free to explore the amazing underworld once again. We were fortunate to see a black tip shark which was very cool. We also saw Green turtles and an octopus. I felt very comfortable in the water this time which was very comforting. Cheryl did awesome as well. She's a natural (as long as she doesn't have to take her weight belt off). Day 2 of diving training is in the books. Let's go have a cocktail!
We rode around the island and visited various local beach bars enjoying another beautiful sunset. 
Coming home was a bit dicey in that there was a power outage on the island. The power comes from an underground line from the city of Lombok and during high demand they shed power and this island is low on the priority list.  The trip home was interesting. Riding bikes with iPhone lights on high beam!  We could of course walked our bikes but that would not have been nearly as challenging. Just keep your eyes peeled for those horse carts. They don't stop for anyone. 
Some places have back up generators and thank goodness Marv is one of them so the AC stayed on. Would have been a loooong night without it. 

Saturday morning arrived and we are excited for our final day of dive training. Two dives and a quiz is all that's left. 

Before we left I headed off on my daily quest to run around the island without stopping. I figured I'd share the experience.....

Marv's villa is about 800 meters from the perimeter road so you run through some back streets to start. 
Once on the perimeter road I take a right and start heading south. The sun greets me coming up in the east. It's friendly now but in about an hour it's a killer!
I run through main steet and all the markets and shops. People are sweeping the streets getting ready for the day. Locals are beginning to recognize me.   There is no language barrier for signs of exhaustion and a local man with a hose noticed I was in bad shape and took the liberty of spraying me with water as I went by "terima kasih" (thank you) I exclaimed in appreciation!
I circle the island and move to the west side where there are some nice resorts. We ate dinner at the Pearl last night which is near here. 
I make one final turn up the road back to Marv's villa. I'd say it's a back road but who am I kidding?  They are all back roads!!
By this time I am completely drenched in sweat but I made it without stopping. I feel like Rocky at the top of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, fists raised in elation! 

As if that wasn't enough for one day we rode our bikes to Trawangan Dive for day three of training. No more pool work for us and we headed straight to the Shallow Turbo dive site for more open water drills. I had a new mask that kept fogging up so I needed to frequently fill it with water and blow it out to clear it. This caused me to use my air up more quickly than everyone else. When I hit my safety limit of 50 bar I signaled the instructor and I figured she'd send me up to the surface but she called be over to use her secondary regulator and breath off her tank. Seriously?  I'm in 50 ft of water in Indonesia breathing air off another persons tank. Can I please have one day where I am not completely blown away by something?  Wow!

Our last dive was at the Turtle heaven dive site. As its name implies there were a ton of turtles there which was very cool.  Our underwater drill this dive was for Cheryl and I to use a compass to swim away and return to the same spot. Hello? can't we just ask Siri?  Apparently not and thank goodness for our instructor because Cheryl and I did not do well.  We were on our way to Lombok when she turned us around. Fortunately this skill is not required for certification. 

So back we came and passed out written test and became CERTIFIED DIVERS!  Very cool indeed!  There were a few touch and go moments but we did it. 

We don't have an official card yet but do have a log book with our instructors signature which is supposed to be our temporary documentation. 
Our instructor was amazing. Her name is Fiona (think Shrek). A perfect demeanor to calm your nerves and also make it so fun. Thank you Fiona!  Notice I'm still barefoot!!!
Though more to write, I'm getting warm and am going for a dip in the ocean. By the way, I'm writing this blog from my phone so please forgive the typos. After a while I go cross eyed and probably miss a few things. 

Until next time Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers out there!!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment