First day of scuba diving in Ft Lauderdale

I got into Ft Lauderdale on Friday afternoon. The H2O racers had a meeting at the hotel and then everyone pretty much disappeared. I had gotten up at 5am to get here, so I went upstairs and crashed. We had to be at the boat at 7am, so I needed to get some sleep!
We got up and went and ate before heading off to the boat. I had brought Matt’s gear with me, but I had to make some adjustment, since his computer was on the fritz.
We headed out and it only took us about 20 mins to get to the dive site.
I was filming everyone get in and out of the water and everyone else was filming underwater or racing their scooters. Once everyone was in, I got suited up and headed down the line.
There was a strong current, but there was a line all the way to the bow and I was told to just go down it, hand over hand and I could meet up with other people down there.
They weren’t kidding about the current, but there was good visibility and it didn’t take me long to see the wreck.
I got down in the bow, and had a great view of the racers while hiding in the lee of the current. There was a tonne of fish. I really didn’t even go explore the rest of the wreck, There was so much to see right there without exerting myself on my first dive. When people had done racing, we headed back up the line. I was pretty happy since I’m normally pretty nervous and have trouble descending. But this time, since I wasn’t on any one else’s timeframe, I did just fine.
We moved to another shallow location. We could see the wreck from the boat. We jumped in and then had some fun. I grabbed onto David and his scooter and hitched a ride.
Later back on land, there was a briefing while we went over the race tomorrow.
Tonight, were going to head out to see what’s fun on a Saturday night in Ft Lauderdale.


Texas Beaches

Most people don’t really think of the beach when they think of Texas, but this state actually has a huge coastline. It takes about 8 hours to drive all of it.

Texas Coastline. The closest beach to our house in San Antonio is about 2 1/2hrs south at Corpus Christi, and another half hour out to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. If we want to go to a really nice beach, we make the 6 hr drive down to South Padre Island, near Brownsville and the Mexican Border.

I was hoping that this year we’d get to lots of diving in the Gulf. There’s quite a few spots that are world known. The Texas Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary, the oil rigs, the Matagorda Island Liberty Ship Reef and Seven and One Half Fathom Reef are just a few of the places to go diving in the gulf. Whether you want to see coral, fish, hammerhead sharks or do some wreck diving, Texas has it all. It’s just starting to get warm over here. I’m a wimp about cold weather diving, so I was excited about the warm temperatures coming along. Now, however, I’m not sure we’ll get to do any diving in the gulf this year. The oil disaster is just growing by the day. Right now, it’s headed towards Florida, which is devastating for them. However, all we need is one eddy to spin off, or for the Hurricanes to start, and who knows where the oil will end up.

Matt and I went to Corpus Christi with the Jeep club this weekend. We thought about not going, but we thought we’d better enjoy the beach while we could. The water was beautiful and clear and almost body temperature. It was choppy, but it’s so shallow for so far out, it’s not too dangerous. It’s turtle season, so the turtle patrol was going up and down the beach. Matt actually saw one out in the water as it swam right by him.

So, now David Ulloa, my other dive buddy and Going Down partner and I are trying to work out how we can best help with the civilian volunteer clean up effort in the gulf. David moved to Florida last year, so right now, it’s headed towards him. He’s from Texas, so either way, it’s also going to have a personal impact on him. Matt and I are looking at how fast it’s moving, and are preparing to head to Florida if it hits there first. There’s some great civilian volunteer efforts going on. From hairdressers donating all their clippings which get made into booms, to people donating their boats which are taken out to scoop up the crud.

The biggest problem is how toxic the oil is. You can’t just go out there and get dirty. It’s extremely poisonous. You need hazmat suits, special equipment and all that jazz. It’s crazy how something that so many people are so dependent on can do so much damage.

So, right now, David and I are watching and waiting for the best opportunity for us to pitch in and help without getting in the way. I’m hoping that they can get a cap on the thing before it gets too much worse. People are already being affected. Fishermen, diving groups, people who live on the shores in Mississippi. We’re so used to getting our oysters, shrimp and fish from the Gulf, but now they’re not all safe to eat. Divers can’t go to certain areas anymore, incase they come into contact with the oil. Oil rig diving is huge here. I’m guessing that may get canceled for a while….

I guess all we can do for now is hope they get the leak stopped and that we can all pitch in and help with the cleanup. I know I’ll be there, trying to save some manatees!


New Website

One of the most important lessons I learnt in life came from a horse riding lesson.

Where you look, is where you’ll end up.

So, instead of looking behind me at the past, I’m looking forward to the future. It’s also important to keep looking up. If you look down, that’s where you’ll fall.

I’ll keep a section up here of the old stuff. There may be someone out there who’s interested in it… For the most part though, I’m going to turn this into my personal website and blog. Sometimes a girls just gotta have a place to vent. 😉

If you’re interested in what I’m working on this week then check out Going Down or ShrimpTank Productions.

Going Down is the Scuba Series that I’m working on. ShrimpTank is the production company behind it, which during the week does regular stuff, like SEO, Social Media Marketing and all the other stuff that goes into helping people get their 15 minutes of fame.

Check back in every now and again. I’ll be putting new stuff up all the time.