So, we’ve been having gas fume issues whenever we fill our gas tank in the RV and whenever we pull long steep climbs, like White Bird hill in Idaho, a long 7 mile hill and by the time we would get to the top we would have to pull over, turn off ANYTHING that was using propane or had a pilot light as the fumes were TERRIBLE inside the motor home especially in the back.
I looked around and found of all places, a tire shop that worked on RV’s and when I called, I talked to this guy named Bill and he was totally on the same page as me as to what I had done to troubleshoot and what I thought was the issue. So yesterday we picked up the RV after he had worked on it (Emptied the 75 gallon gas tank of all it’s gas, then dropped it, and replaced the fuel pump, filter, hoses and anything else that needed it), and FIXED the gas gauge which of course was the sending unit which a new one was on the new fuel pump.
(And this part is why I’m writing:)
So this morning I called the guy back at TireRama, Bill, and just wanting to thank him again and tell him how happy I was with the overall experience of him working on my motor home (MH), and he said he was glad I called back as he wanted to talk with me and tell me more of what he had done. (He wasn’t there when we picked it up yesterday)
Bill said that I made a GOOD call getting the fuel pump replaced as when his guys were backing up the motor home he could hear the fuel pump ‘whining’ away! I told him, “I KNOW!!!!” (In a good way) In fact I had mentioned that to someone..Perfection??, can’t remember and they said, oh yeah, that’s normal. Bill said, NO..that is NOT normal, and he should know, as they work on a lot of MH’s.
As soon as I got home I let the engine run and went back and sure enough you CAN’T HEAR the fuel pump..and THAT is normal! So again, he said that was a smart call to replace that as he thinks it was getting ready to fail. And just think of what that would mean if it failed while going to Boise or anywhere…do you know what size tow truck is needed to tow a 32′, 17,000 pound motor home? A BIG ONE!!!!!!!!
Then I asked, where the location of the fuel filter is and again he said, “oh, that was another good call to have me replace that” (although he said he normally R&R fuel filters when doing this kind of work.. I had called and specifically asked him to do that). I asked him why? He said that when he removed the filter and banged it on the floor, just to see if there was anything in there..he said it was FILLED with gunk! AND that it was a Motorcraft, which is what Ford, the maker of the ‘carriage’ part of the RV, (engine, frame, gas tank, etc) names it’s parts. Which ‘could’ and most likely mean, that it is the original fuel filter from 1997!!! THAT IS NOT SMART! I don’t know how often that should be replaced but certainly more often that once every 18 years!! Bill also said that ALL of the hoses he replaced, which are many, and one that goes all the way to the generator as that’s where the generator get it’s fuel, also had the Motorcraft logo and name on them, which again, most likely means they have never been replaced, which may or may not be a big deal, as I think those things are supposed to last a LONG time.
And then I asked about the drain plug, should I have had him install one while it was empty? (All 55 gallons that fit into a clean 55 gallon drum he had). He said that it might not have been a bad idea and of course we could always to it later, but again that would be expensive. I said the reason would be so in case the tank is or gets gunky. He did say, he reached down in there and cleaned out as much as he could with a clean rag, so it’s in pretty good shape.
It’s those kinds of things that aren’t shown on the itemized bill, but can sure make a difference down the road, as well as shows you the kind of care they take with each and every auto they work on.
I told Bill that he has my business from now on. I know his shop is a bit out of the way, but I could tell by the way the shop looked, how I felt when I was there, and in talking to him (have yet to met him) as well as the guy at the counter, these are good quality people and you can tell by the shop they take pride in their work and where they work. Everything is spotless…and I’m talking not only of the show room, but the shop was bright, clean and very orderly.
I now wished I had purchased my RV tires (all 6) from them. Especially looking back on how Perfection did the ones on the RV. I know I asked them if they could handle a rig this big, and they assured me they could. But when I watched as they attempted to jack up the RV, the 1st GIANT jack wouldn’t work. So they brought out two smaller ones and had to carefully jack up one wheel at a time and..wow..it was almost comical if it hadn’t been MY rig! I wish I would have said..STOP! Forget this. But..live and learn. I will not be going back to perfection for tires and probably most anything. I think I’d rather drive all the way out to airway heights and have TireRama work on my rigs.
So goodbye Perfection Tire…Hello TireRama.
I was reading through some of my post back in 2009 and noticed I didn’t post a race report of the Windermere Marathon on my blog. I posted it on Active.com and the link I had didn’t work. So, I copied it here, just so I’d have a record of it.
Keep in mind that it was back in 2009 and it was my 1st attempt at qualifying, which I did in Portland on 10-10-2010 (love that date!)
Well, where do I begin? This was supposed to be my Boston qualifier race, my 1st attempt. I’ve run this course many many times as I work right by it; ride it almost every weekend with my wife and friends; did an ultra marathon this March from the state line all the way to 9 mile (37 miles..whew!); so you THINK I would have figured out that the mile markers were messed up. But you know….when you are working your tail off and concentrating on keeping your body together sometimes the obvious, is not.
I was attempting to run a 3:45:00 or better (Although during the race my running buddy Steve, mentioned that you actually get all of the 45th minute so the qualifying time is actually 3:45:59 *** As of 2011 this is no longer true). So just like all BQ hopefuls I had my splits written down on the top of my hand; 5, 10, 15, 20, 25. And all along the way I was hitting my marks right on. Oh a few seconds on either side but pretty much right on.
At the 20 mile marker I was RIGHT on! Almost to the second! So I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m going to make it. Then the 21 mile marker came up and I was below the split by almost a minute, meaning I had a 60 second cushion. By this time I’m feeling giddy!
Somewhere along the way I noticed that gosh, that 23rd mile was a long ways! When I glanced down at my watch it showed that I had been running for 3 hours and 24 minutes, and I was like WHAT?! That meant I only had 21 more minutes to run 3.2 miles and there was NO WAY I was going to do that! That would have been a 7:30 pace which after running 20 miles at an 8:30 pace there was no way I could do that. I couldn’t believe it! I mean I hit EACH and EVERY split RIGHT ON TIME! I was sooooo stinkin devastated! I just gave up.
It never occurred to me the mile markers might be off. And my Garmin was being used to give me my interval timing as I was using the Jeff Galloway method of running; 4 mile run, 30 second walk (which works by the way) so I wasn’t able to see how far I actually had run so I HAD to trust the mile markers.
I still didn’t know there was anything wrong, but since I was so devastated, I just ran and walked along until we came to the turn by Gonzaga and one of the folks at the last aid station said, “You only have 1.5 more miles!” I stopped, turned around and said “WHAT!?!!!”. They said “Yeah the mile markers are all messed up”. I glanced down at my watch again and it said I had 8 more minutes. 8 more minutes to run 1.5 miles. I was soooo stinking angry! Even though I was physically exhausted, but even more I was mentally devastated, I tried to turn that anger into energy and pushed with everything I had to try and run 1.5 miles in under 8 minutes..HA! Let’s see, that would be a 5:20 pace. Well, long story short, I missed my time by 3 minutes and 8 seconds. 3 MINUTES AND 8 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I crossed the finish line (which I have an issue with that…WHERE was the WORD FINISH??!!!!!) I stopped at the 1st place that had tape across the road thinking THAT was the finish line only to be prodded along by the announcer, “No, that’s not the finish, you have to keep running, come on now, let’s go!” (I’m not normally an angry man but if he would have been standing near me….who knows what I might have said.)
So I stumbled across the finish line that had no clock, that I could see, (I finally did see it after walking around and noticing it BEHIND the large speaker….DOH!) and as I passed by the volunteers handing out metals, I almost didn’t take one. I was sooooo stinking depressed. I couldn’t believe I had put all this energy into training and doing long miles, I mean LONG MILES! (Jeff’s program calls for doing a 30 miler so that the 26 doesn’t scare you, AND you avoid hitting the proverbial ‘wall’ at 20 or 21 miles)
Well, I spent the weekend sort of in a slump and when they finally posted the results I saw where I had taken 2nd in my age group, so that help to take the sting away a little, but now after reading all these post, the pain and anger seems to be coming back! (I’m grinning while I right these so, not really I guess). *** Again, this was posted on the Active.com site and MANY people were complaining about the mile markers
I wrote an objective email to Bob (The Windermere race director) and told him how much I loved the race and I REALLY want to see this marathon succeed, and by the way, where was ANY media coverage of the race before or even after? All I ever saw on the TV was Lilac Parade this, and Lilac Parade that! Come on! This marathon could be a jewel of a race for Spokane, why doesn’t the media want to promote it more? That even goes for Troika the half Ironman they do here in Spokane. That could be a premier race but you never hear ANYTHING on the news or in the paper about it.
I picked up the Sunday paper after the marathon and what was on the sports page? Some stupid softball game that happened in Coeur d’Alene for Pete’s sake! NOTHING about this gorgeous marathon right here in our home town!!
Well I hope the best for this race and probably will do it again as I think it has the potential to be another Bloomsday like race. Well, that might be a stretch, but certainly it could grow to be much larger than it was IF they fix many of the issues.
Well, I feel better now getting that off my chest. Sorry to sound like a whiner. I was hoping to be a winner. :-)
***So funny reading this now in light of all I’ve been through and where I am today, which basically is …no running…sigh
So Google does an end of the year in review thing where it takes and highlights some of the photo’s you’ve uploaded and puts them to music. Not bad:
Funny, looking at it again..it’s not very good at ALL! But it does cover kind of what I did all year…which was..not much.
So this is rather pathetic, but I thought I’d share it anyway.
WordPress does an end of the year summary of ALL the blogs I’ve posted (2) and which post were the most popular. I did find it interesting that my Amaryllis post (March 2009) was the most popular, with 40 plus comments. And I have some more photo’s I need to post on that one. Another surprise was my post called Groupers not Groupies (August 2013) was 2nd with …ahm..4. Oh well, I don’t do this for the comments, just for fun.
Anywho..here’s the report.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 820 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.
So my buddy Steve-oh-slow-mo, is ‘thinking’ about doing the Silver Falls Marathon down in beautiful Silver Falls State Park, but he’s hoping I’ll do one of the smaller races so we can book down there together.
SO I’m begging the race director to open up ONE MORE SLOT in either the 7 miler or half marathon (I think I could do the half).
SO if by chance they happen upon my page…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Let me in, let me in!!! Please?
I promise to sing the praise of this amazing location!!!
Just some humor:
- I tried to catch some fog. I mist.
- When chemists die, they barium.
- Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
- A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
- I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
- How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
- I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
- This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.
- I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.
- I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words ..
- They told me I had type A blood, but it was a type-O.
- This dyslexic man walks into a bra ..
- I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
- A cross-eyed teacher lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
- When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
- What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds..
- I wondered why the ball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!
- Broken pencils are pointless.
- What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
- England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool .
- I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
- I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
- All the toilets in London police stations have been stolen.
Police say they have nothing to go on.
- I took the job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
- Velcro – what a rip off!
- Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.
I was doing some vanity searches and found one I hadn’t seen before so I thought I’d share the link here.
About a year ago I FINALLY ponied up the money to purchase a long time desire…a waterproof MP3 player!
At the time there were only two worth considering and both used the Apple 2 Gig Shuffle. But one company actually opened the sealed iPod then resealed it to waterproof it. That didn’t sound like a good idea to me as anytime you mess with a sealed electronic assembly you increase the risk of foreign debris getting inside and then having to reseal it and make sure it doesn’t leak there is always risky at best.
So I went with the Underwater Audio 2 Gig player and absolutely love it! They’re process doesn’t open the player and somehow they magically get the waterproofing inside and it absolutely works!
Anyway, here’s the link to the “TriMoot Testimonial“!
Oh, and here’s a link to their site: http://www.underwateraudio.com/
Can you believe it?
I’m ranked by GOOGLE!
I’m ranked # 14,078,471 top blogs! Wow.
So this past July my wife and I were able to travel Florida and spend some time with my 88 year old father as well as take a desperately needed vacation.
After spending almost a week just hanging out with my Dad and having a wonderful time my wife and I headed over to the West side of Florida which was new to me. Normally we travel south and hang around my old stomping grounds in and around North Palm Beach and Singer Island.
On the West coast we found a wonderful old ‘Florida’ hotel named “Sea Chest” on Treasure Island (Just below Clearwater), a great spot and reasonably priced, since it was right on the ocean, although it was a fair walk to the beach!
The water was warm and for 3 out of the 4 days we were there, very rough with awesome body surfing waves! LOVED IT!
We then traveled over to the East side and found another hotel on the beach on Singer Island. It happens to be the hotel that is very close to a reef I used to spend a lot of time on and was the spot where the Amaryllis washed up during a hurricane back in 1965. (Here’s a link to my blog about this)
The water was perfect! Clear, wonderfully blue, and only a tad bit on the cold side (remember, I’m from Florida and 80 feels cold to me!)
We did some snorkeling at Phil Foster park which is a new man made reef and found it very enjoyable as long as you remember to get there about 30 minutes before high tide which is when the visibility and current is perfect.
We talked about what to do the next day and I had toyed with the idea of doing a scuba dive off of Palm Beach but it had been many years (15 to be exact) since I had last dove. So I didn’t really think it would happen until my wife called me (I was visiting with a old friend from high school over dinner) and said that she was really enjoying the reef off of the hotel and that I should call the dive shop and go. Well, that was enough for me! I called the dive shop and made plans for the next morning at 8:00 AM!
As dives excursions go, you never know where you’re going until you’re on the boat. When I had made the reservation I mentioned that it had been some time since I had dove and that I didn’t want to go too deep. They said they had lots of boats to choose from and would put me on one that would do dives around 60 feet. Gulp…for some reason that sounded DEEP, but I agreed.
So I was up at 6:00 AM, and down to Dunkin Donuts (All scuba divers eat here, right?) I went for my coffee and two apple spice donuts..yum! (Side story: Dunkin Donuts actually have espresso machines but they can only do a limited selection of drinks and an American is NOT one! WHAT? I’ve had about 50% success with explaining how to make one and having someone brave enough to do it….so strange)
I then checked in at the dive shop and gave them my name and NAUI number which they looked up to confirm and said they couldn’t find it. (Funny, I just checked and couldn’t find it either. Guess I’ll have to update their records). They asked for my card and I said I had left it at home, which I had as I really didn’t think I would be able to do a scuba dive. They started getting suspicious. They asked if I had a log book…ah..no. Again I told them I hadn’t planned on doing this. They asked when I had been certified and I told them October 1972 (I know, I know..I’m OLD!) I was 16 when I got certified, just like my son. (But that’s another story for another time)
So they reluctantly took my credit card and gathered all the equipment, however they were still suspicious and when they brought over the regulator they handed it to me and asked that I put it on. AhHA! They’re testing me! Well, I was a little nervous as it had been sooooo very long, but I acted as though I knew exactly what I was doing and successfully put it on while three of the store employees watched. After tightening it, but not too much, I turned on the air and it leaked! Uhoh..I blew it I thought…dang! But what I said was, “Oh, must have a bad O-ring”. The one who had taken my credit card said, “No, that wasn’t it, we check all the O-rings!” So he took the harness and put it on himself and turned the air back on….SSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHH..it leaked. (HA! SEE!) No, I didn’t say that, but I wanted to!
So they brought another tank over and had me place it on and sure enough it worked. Whew! I think they felt a little better about me after that.
By this time it was 7:30 and I had to load everything up and get over to the boat dock. After paying the parking meter I walked over to the boat and dropped off my equipment then went over to the back of a pickup and handed the Captain my pass and filled out some paper work. In the spot where it asks about how many hours I had….I just put “Novice”. The Captain read it and looked at me and asked when the last time I dove? I said, “Well, it’s been a while.” “How long?” he asked, I said, “Oh, a couple of years”…gulp. He just looked at me and said they’d be leaving in 5 minutes.
Once on the boat I watched very carefully what everyone else was doing and just mirrored what they did. I was so nervous they were going to find out I was a FAKE! Well, not really a fake but it had been such a long time I probably should have taken a refresher course and next time I WILL!
We slowly traveled through the inter-coastal and headed out the Port of Palm Beach inlet. It was a perfect morning, completely clear sky, not too hot (yet) and the ocean was as flat as a pancake! As we passed the inlet marker I recalled the time I was with a friend and we dove the channel looking to spear a few fish. We entered the water from the rocks on the North side of the inlet and got out to the base of the channel marker. Sheepshead were weaving through the legs of the marker and I took a shot and wound up with TWO of them on one spear! I had to reel them in quick and put them inside my fish bag before the local barracuda’s decided to take a bite out of them.
On the way back to the edge we came across a small anchor and since my friends Dad was building a boat I decided to pick it up and bring it back to him. So I grabbed it, added a little air to my BC (Buoyancy Compensator) and continued on. We were probably only 50 yards away from the edge when I noticed my air wasn’t shooting into my mouth like normal. I looked down at my gauge and I was almost out of air! I quickly decided the anchor was not all that important and inflated my BC with the last of my air and shot up to the top where the dive flag was. This was a busy inlet so I was very nervous about all the boats but the dive flag did its job and no one ran me over!
So as our boat made its way out of the inlet they gathered all 7 of the divers around and told us we’d be doing two dives of around 60 feet off the Palm Beach Breakers and one other spot. There were three of us that were using normal tanks and two that were diving with NITROX and two that were using Rebreather’s. There were two crew members and the Captain. The boat was just the right size, with lots of room for all of us and our equipment with lots of room to roam.
There were two dive masters and both were very helpful and could tell I was a bit nervous. Again they asked how long and how many dives I had been on and I again was a little vague but said I would appreciate any advice they could give since it had been a while.
When we were 10 minutes out from the 1st stop the Captain let us know and we quickly got into our wet-suits and gear. I was careful to watch exactly what everyone else was doing and mimicked them step by step.
One area I was nervous about was how much weight to put on as I had forgotten what I had used in the past. So I did ask one of the dive masters what he recommended and he asked my weight and looked at my body type and said between 14 and 16 pounds. Another diver, one about my age, suggested 16. I decided to go with what the dive master said and took two 4 pound weights and two 3 pound weights and placed one of each in my weight pouch’s which then slide into my BC vest, which I thought was a VAST improvement over what I used back in 1972.
In 1972, the equipment was expensive, just like it is in 2013, so back then we made our own weights AND the backpack that held our tank. How you might ask? We borrowed a backpack from a friend, put car wax all over it, then used fiberglass and resin and slathered it all over the waxed covered backpack. Worked like a charm! We even put color in it, powder blue; to match the resin covered weights! Sure wish I had some pictures of that! But in 2013 this BC vest was slick and with 7 pounds in each pouch I was all set.
I was starting to feel nervous as the boat stopped and the captained yelled, “DIVE DIVE DIVE”. We all waddled over to the back of the boat and I watched as one by one everyone jumped off. I kept fiddling with my mask and looking at all my stuff hanging down, and finally one of the dive masters came over and checked me out. Whew..just what I was hoping!
My dive computer (that’s new) was hanging down so she clipped it onto one of the rings. Then she noticed by BC vest wasn’t hooked up to my tank! Oh brother! What a goober! That would have been very upsetting if I had gotten into the water and tried to inflate it only to find out it wasn’t even hooked up! I’m not even sure if I could have blown it up manually without the air hose plugged in. I would have sunk to the bottom!
They played it off as no big deal. I was distracted and forgot. Ah..no…I JUST DIDN’T REMEMBER I WAS EVEN SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!
Yikes, my confidence was falling fast! Not that I had much of it in the first place!
Finally it was my turn to jump in and all these memories are flying through my head. “Do I jump to the left or right of the last diver? Do I jump or just kick my leg out and fall? Do I hold my mask or my crotch?” AHHH!! JUST GO!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!! I jumped!
It wasn’t the prettiest entry as I led off with my right leg and as I was half jumping and half falling my left leg kind of slipped off the boat. The entrance must have looked rather comical as both dive masters told me to JUMP on the 2nd dive. :-} (This is how it’s SUPPOSED to look)
But here I was in the water, just where I wanted to be! It was cool, but not cold and the 3 mill wet suit was just right. I swam over to the dive flag and waited till we were given the sign to start heading down. This is where I really struggle, getting my ears to clear. I don’t recall having this problem when I was young but the last few times I’ve gone I’ve had difficulties getting my ears to pop without a LOT of pain. I started down by letting all the air out of my BC and remembered what one of the dive masters had told me about holding my nose and ‘lightly’ holding my breath and pushing my cheeks out. He also mentioned tipping my head back and blowing out from my nose and moving my jaw around. I did all those things and still my left ear was really paining me. I stopped heading down due to the increasing pain by adding a little air to the BC. I waited there, maybe even floated up a little until the pain eased a bit. Kept doing this and finally I was able to get down. I looked up to see if I was the last one down and I wasn’t so I thought I’d done okay.
This was a 60 foot drift dive, meaning, they dump you off and then you drift with the current for 45 minutes or so and then pop up and hopefully you’re near where the boat is waiting. So being the experienced diver that I was….I followed the dive master….closely! Which turned out to be a good thing! His name was Alex and he was from Jamaica and he was very good about pointing out all the different and interesting things to see, as well as writing on the underwater tablet as to what we were looking at.
The visibility was pretty good and you could see about 50 feet and there was hardly any current at all. At 60 feet the color is muted a bit so everything has a rather bluish haze to it and colors don’t really pop out at you. But it was still beautiful! It wasn’t cold, no current and lots and lots of stuff to look at. This dive had ledges and one bowl and most all the ledges had lots of life, including lobsters, moray eels, basket sponges, fans, banded coral shrimp (Had to really search to find those as they are tiny), and tons and tons of beautiful fish!
I supposed the highlight of the 1st dive was the large Loggerhead Turtle that we were able to watch. As we came around one of the fingers of the reef sitting on top with its head slightly hidden under a sea fan was a LARGE turtle! Its head was huge! At first I thought it the size of a basketball, but upon further reflection (and because I can’t seem to find any pictures of these kinds of turtles that show that size) I am reassessing and will say its head was as large as a volleyball. Either way, it was BIG!
I was one of the first ones there and was able to get within 10 feet of it and since there was very little current was able to watch with little effort. One by one the rest of the divers gathered around and started taking pictures of this old female turtle. (Back on the boat the dive master said it was female due to the small tail and that it was perhaps 35 years old). It was such a joy to watch this larger than life animal just snoozing on the ocean floor unaware that 8 divers were gathered around watching it. But after a short while it did wake up and slowly looked from side to side. It didn’t seem alarmed or startled, just slowly woke up and swam away. Just beautiful to watch! (Yes..I WISHED I had a camera!)
After scooting along looking at all the beautiful creatures and sea life my 45 minutes were up and my air was down to 900 PSI so it was time to head up. I told the dive master my air was low and I was heading up and he gave me the okay sign. I followed the dive flag string up and stopped at 15 feet and stayed there for 5 minutes to make sure I followed the decompression rules.
Once I came to the top I looked around and saw the boat. I inflated my orange tube they had given me and waited for the boat to come over to pick me up.
I was exhilarated by all the sea life we’d seen and by the fact I completed the dive without any major issues. I did noticed that on my way back up my left ear gave me a fair amount of pain, and once on the boat I tried to clear it and do what I could to help the relieve the pain. It eventually went away.
We stayed on the boat for about 30 minutes before moving to the last location. The two divers who were wearing the re-breathers stayed down and would navigate to the new location on their own. Their dive time would be a solid 2.5 hours compared to our two 45 minute stops and 30 minute surface time, AND since there are no bubbles when they exhale the fish have a tendency to come right up to them! Might have to look into the re-breather option.
At our second dive sight I was much more comfortable having worked out all the kinks of not having done this in many years and even managed to execute a somewhat more graceful entry into the water. I continued to have issues with my left ear as I headed down to the bottom, again, around 60 feet. I was able to get down a little quicker, in fact I was probably the 2nd one down and once I was on the bottom I looked up and watched as the other divers were still descending. So cool watching these wet suit cladded people slowly making there way down from above while the sun sent streaks of light spreading out in all directions. It was a great sight!
The current at the new location was very strong and required a lot of effort to avoid crashing into the reef or each other. I attempted to be conservative with my air but I noticed I was breathing a little faster and deeper due to the extra effort needed to stay in one place.
This dive was similar to the 1st one as there were a number of ‘finger’ reefs and we zigzagged our way in and out of the fingers. The visibility was a little lower here due to the current and finding stuff to look at was a bit more of a challenge as you would need to hang on to something to stay in one place long enough to even notice what was what. And since I had no gloves I didn’t hang onto anything, and actually, I don’t normally do that anyway as I don’t like damaging the reef.
And speaking of that, I was a little dismayed at two of the divers who were oblivious to their hanging computer and air gauges smacking against everything! At one point I thought of going over there and pointing it out, but thank goodness the dive partner realized what was happening and fixed the issue but not before a good size piece of basket coral was broken off…errr!
Now to the entire reason for this rather lengthy post….. The Grouper……. Are two grouper’s called groupies?
We were told before we started the 2nd dive that on the last finger of the reef there is a large ledge and many times there will be a large grouper hiding there.
When someone says, “large grouper” I’m assuming 3 or 4 feet long, perhaps a hundred pounds or so..you know..large. What the dive master SHOULD have said was, “GIGANTIC! ENORMOUS! MAMMOTH! JUMBO! MONSTROUS!!!! Even “BROBDINGNAGIAN!!” (Yup, that’s a word, had to look that one up)
In any case, it is the LARGEST DANG fish I’ve EVER seen my entire life! And to be THAT close!! Woh.
There was a diver in front of me who spotted one of the Groupers and I sidled up next to him and watched as this extremely large fish watched us. There was a ledge and slanted down a little so I was having a tough time getting a good view so I swam above and over the ledge and came down on the other side. As I descended to just below the back of the ledge I was greeted with the largest tail I’ve ever seen! It was huge! The fish sensed I was there, raised its dorsal fins and slowly (probably as fast as a big fish can) turned to warn me off! HOLY SMOKES! HIS MOUTH WAS HUGE!!!!!!!! I swear his mouth was a wide as my shoulders! AND THERE WERE TWO GROUPERS!!! Oh my GOSH! Just amazing! One was looking straight at me and the other was watching the other divers who had joined the 1st one. Both had their dorsal fins up and I think were a little spooked. I know ‘I’ was!
As the Grouper and I looked at each other I was laughing and yet scared at the same time, and slowly started to back away. I had inadvertently gotten within 5 or 6 feet of it due to the current so I moved away as quickly and smoothly as I could. I didn’t want to appear that I was being aggressive or give him/her any reason to come after me. But man oh man, what a sight! To be that close to fish that big…just amazing!
I SOOOO wished I had a camera then! So I’ve looked around the interwebs trying to find a few pictures that would capture what I saw, and although I didn’t find exactly what I wanted here’s a few that hopefully helps you understand what I saw and what I felt:
Grouper under a ledge and a diver close to it: Here
And another one: Here
This one I like as it shows the dorsal fins standing up: Here
Now this is probably what you ‘think’ I saw: Here
This is what my memory thinks I saw: Here
Now that brings up a question I will cover in my next post;, “Can a grouper swallow a diver?”
You’ll have to stay tuned for my next installment as this one has gone on..and on..and on.
Found a wonderful hiking place 15 minutes south of Spokane..who knew?
Wondering where this is?
Hee hee hee..not going to tell you!