State by State

Apparently there is an entire country between Boston and San Francisco.

night

by Natalia

Night invites storytelling. On the way to the dive site everybody seems to have something scary to share: divers left on the reef for the night by a careless operator, giant shark skulking in the shadows, losing one's bearings simply by swimming upside down (watch the bubbles! says the captain). The stories get taller as the sun sinks closer to the horizon.

Night dive turns out to be absolutely magical. We enter water at dusk and it gets progressively darker until one dives in blackness punctuated by torch beams and glowing tank markers.

Fish look huge, the wreck slowly reveals itself below, we are searching for an octopus known to lurk beneath submerged decks.

Why dive at night apart from the thrill of overcoming the fear of darkness? Colors look natural in the beam of torch light as the red is minimally absorbed by water at a close range. Some creatures like lobsters, crabs or eels are more active at night venturing into open space from their hideouts. Others like parrotfish get somnolent and instead of darting about simply stay in place.

At the end of the dive we switch the lights off and see the dots of luminescence emitted by tiny creatures excited by our movements.

I am hooked and want to dive every night. Despite scaring myself to death when my buddy swims away as I realize I am low on air. But at night stories get taller.

friends

We are officially contagious. We passed our scuba habit on to our unsuspecting friends. They flew from Boston to Key Largo by way of Miami to meet us last weekend. We promptly signed them up for discover scuba diving class. We had some fun taking compromising pictures (not many people manage to look their best the first time they don mask, BCD, fins, tank and get into a swimming pool), but they still left vowing to take open water certification.There is a lesson here: don't try scuba diving if you don't need a new hobby. Although perhaps it's not a scuba, maybe it's our persuasive personalities. If that's the case you should steer clear of us. Hard to tell.

numbers

We have this road atlas on which most of US states take exactly two pages. Four pages if they are really big. That does not exactly let you appreciate that Rhode Island is the size of a large city and Pennsylvania is nearly as big as North Korea. Except that the size of North Korea is obviously a state secret and inversely correlated to the height of its leaders. Our truck seems to think that we covered 3500 miles so far. I find it hard to believe since that should take us to the West Coast, not just to Florida. However I am not going to argue with a helpless machine. And all these driving around when we were lost, and turning back when we missed something Natalia wanted to take picture of certainly adds up. Now that I look at the map I realize it would also help if we travelled West and not South.