The trip on M/V Spree starts with captain's briefing with huge helpings of bodily functions humor. I can't deny it is a serious concern with almost 30 people having to relive themselves, not always voluntarily, in cramped quarters. The proper technique of fluffing trash bags, the acceptable length of the toilet paper, the problem of toilet mice (don't ask), the art of pumping and flushing are discussed at length.
The people on the boat - fellow divers and the crew - are not just friendly, they genuinely want to make friends. Damian takes to it like fish to water. Even I have trouble keeping to myself. Good thing it's only 3 days or my smile muscles might be permanently damaged.
We settle into a routine: food, dive, food, dive, more food, etc. to the tune of 5 dives a day. Food is great, more so when we can see it's all prepared in a tiny galley kitchen on a rocking boat. It takes 2 dedicated people working round the clock to feed 20 divers and 7 crew members and they do an amazing job.
30 minutes till dive time - we await and fear this call. Each time we drop 6 feet into water, fight the current and re-emerge 40 minutes later to come up the ladder with all the gear, holding our fins. At times it may feel like some kind of an endurance test. Not for wimps or faint-hearted. Divers around us are much more hardcore, not to mention more experienced, than we are. Everybody dives nitrox, so do we, but having taken a class only recently I still feel like an impostor.
The trip ends with karaoke at Two Friends Bar in Key West. We attach ourselves to the crew dressed as pirates and partake in the festivities. To satisfy your masochistic urges you can watch the proceedings via live web cam. It instantly kills any desire I ever may have had to do karaoke. Semi-public humiliation in front of similarly indisposed and friendly crowd is one thing. The perspective of having your rendition of a song broadcasted on the web in real time makes you sober rather quickly.
By the way, it should be against the law to sing Girls just wanna have fun while you are female and drunk. Any lawmaker who is willing to propose a constitutional amendment to that effect has my vote.Finally, defeated by the margaritas served in glasses so big, that in their previous life they were probably used to drown annoying babies, I retire to the boat.
According to Damian, who clearly has more stamina than I do, the evening concludes in a clothing optional dance club. Apparently Key West, that during a day might be rather a disappointing experience, at night lives up to its immoral fame. Alas no pictures are allowed and everybody keeps mum when sobered up in the morning. Next time I'm not going to bed early!!!