Screw you single #scuba #diver


Divers arriving back to the main boat. I wasn’t able to be with them due to the danger of my situation arising out of the buddy-fiasco.

Within hours of being abandoned underwater by my ‘buddy, non-buddy’ Jose and ignored by Flo’s ‘divemaster, private servant’ Eduardo, I was gearing up again.

Getting back on the horse was crucial. Otherwise, I may not have ever dived again.

After the fiasco, Jose and Reuben went to chat with the captain about my non-buddy situation. The plan they came up with was this.

“Flo has to have a buddy,” they said. “You will be Flo’s buddy.” To review, Flo had fewer than 25 dives at this point and had hired Eduardo to keep her from dying. Flo was also socially challenged, rich, spoiled and a Grade A narcissist. I know this because she was my cabin mate.

Fat chance of Flo providing me with any buddy-assistance underwater. What a joke.

They also told me Eduardo would be my buddy for the next dive. Something he wasn’t required to do because Flo was planning to sit out the dive. Eduardo would be doing me and them a favour.

When I saw the dour look on Eduardo’s face, I knew he’d been ‘volun-told’ to be my buddy. He was pissed to the power of 100.

The dive was uneventful. Eduardo scowled the entire time.

Third time I thought I was dying

Next day, I joined my ‘buddy’ Flo and scowling Eduardo for a dive at a very tricky site. The currents were strong. We didn’t last long at depth. Flo wanted to surface. Which meant I had to go too.

The trip to the surface was terrifying, thanks to Eduardo. Grabbing both me and Flo by our arms, he dragged us about 70 feet up the surface – at a rate of about 30 feet a minute. It was torture. My fins were kicking so hard, I was struggling to breathe. At one point, he adjusted my equipment, which made it even harder for me to kick and ascend. I wasn’t able to adjust the equipment back. I thought I might blackout.

Once we’d surfaced, I made a decision. No more diving with these people – at least until the current lessened. It wasn’t safe. And, I told them so.

Next, the captain of the ship was offering to dive with me and be my buddy. I refused. Politely. Reuben pulled a sad face when I explained my decision to him. Others divers gave me WTF looks.

I sat out about six dives. When it was time to go back in the water, my ‘buddy’ Flo had a meltdown. She informed the crew I was NOT ALLOWED to be part of the buddy trio – to share her private divemaster. Not surprisingly, they went along with her wishes.

I was without a buddy again.

Three more days to go on the ship and I was counting down the hours.

To be continued…..

No bitching when dream trip a bust


So, my long anticipated trip to the Galapagos in Ecuador didn’t go exactly as, well, anticipated.

What I didn’t expect turned out to be the highlight. What I had expected didn’t pan out.

To be clear, I’m grateful to be able to travel. Lucky too. Travel has enriched my life. I’m fortunate beyond belief.

I started planning my December 2016 trip in October 2015, when I put down a deposit on a seven night scuba dive trip aboard a yacht. A bucket-lister, take-money-out-of-savings kind of trip.

Long story short (for now – I’ll cover in more detail in the coming weeks), the diving was disappointing. I expected schools of hammerheads, sun fish, and marine iguanas. The Galapagos bills itself as the best diving in the world.

What I got was poor visibility (so not much to see) crazy strong currents (strong beyond what I’ve seen described in the marketing material) and laxity, in my opinion, in safe diving best practices.

I also could have done without Avianca failing to put my luggage on the plane on which I was travelling and having to wait two days for it to arrive. Note to self: pack a change of clothes in carry-on.

Still, the trip was marvellous for reasons I didn’t expect. San Cristobal, where I spent a few days before and after boarding the ship, was alive with critters. Sea lions everywhere, barking and being cute, marine iguanas, and grapsus crabs. Finches joined me for breakfast each day – enjoying as much of my meal as I did.

The people of San Cristobal were helpful and wonderful and I loved the food.

There were two other highlights: a shore visit to a tortoise reserve and our zodiac boat (aka panga) being surrounded by dolphins.

I won’t return to the Galapagos as a diver. Perhaps a land-based excursion next time. Because this really is an amazing place.