On the move and not underwater

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Thursday, May 6, 2010

Well friends and neighbors things have lost their stagnant nature and my life is once more in flux. The season on the live aboard has come to a glorious end and although I know that I need the break, I will indeed miss the diving for the next few months.  An interesting story, on one of my last trips I had inflated my safety marker (for non divers that is the balloon thing that lets boats know you are below) and was doing my safety stop with my customers when a big ass live aboard boat comes cruising right above us with propellers turning.  I am talking about a boat that easily measures 70 feet long with two big ass propellers sitting not 10 feet above my head and about 6 feet away.  The whole reason for the safety marker is to let boats know where the divers are going to surface and to avoid that area for the moment.  A boat coming that close to a group of divers doing a safety stop is a huge breach of diver protocol not to mention fucking dangerous to my scalp.

Having the boat so close and the captain of said vessel an obvious moron I decided to end the safety stop a minute early and surface my group so I could make my presence abundantly clear.  I think the exact phrase I yelled towards the wheel house was "what the fuck are you doing you idiot" followed by a quick “you motherfucker” I can't be too sure of the quotes though because I was pretty pissed off.  The captain of the boat came out of the wheel house and proceeded to tell me he knew where I was the entire time which was very nice of him but when faced with the fact that he parked his giant fucking boat on top of my dive group his reassurances were not that reassuring.  I continued my verbal assault on the boat all the way until I got picked up by my boat.  I was ready to go over to our captain’s room to get on the radio to continue venting but the trip leader (my boss) stopped me and told me I know better than to yell at the Thai’s because they lose face and get embarrassed.  I was quite flabbergasted at this and told him I really didn’t give a rat’s ass about someone losing face when I almost lost my fucking head.  We still disagree on this point to this day….what do you think oh dear reader?  Would you have let loose a verbal salvo had you almost been killed?  Or would you have considered the captains feelings when faced with his ineptitude?

It is good to get a break from the boat because after months with the same people you do tend to get annoyed with them and them with you.  You don’t really realize it but you are confined to a very very small space for 4 days at a time and you really have no escape from your co workers or your customers.  I had more private time and room to roam in prison for god’s sake.  All this being said, the last few trips were great with lots of manta rays showing up for the finale.  Mix that with some leopard sharks and some other fine bits and bobs and you have yourself a nice couple of trips.  One point of order though.  If you are going on a live aboard and have someone literally taking care of your life and catering to your every diving need…….tip the poor bastard please.  Fucking Europeans and their complete lack of tipping is getting pretty fucking annoying.  You know automatically if you get anyone from France or Spain you are screwed.  England is usually OK and Germany is 50/50.  Out of my last 13 customers (3 trips), 2 people tipped me.  Thanks for the appreciation assholes.

We had Thai new years here a few weeks ago and that was a bit of a blast.  Luckily I was not on the boat and was able to partake in the water festival which pretty much consisted of everyone in my dive shop being piss drunk by 10am and then throwing water on anything that moved.  I still say that songkron is one of the best holidays ever invented and I wish that it could be exported to other countries but the lawsuits that would soon follow would ruin the fun.

Continuing with the celebration theme, I turned 35 the other day and celebrated it by diving all day…again.  I was on the boat for our last trip which was OK and IM even came along for the fun although she didn’t find it all that much fun unfortunately.  Luckily she didn’t get sea sick but she did find it a bit boring which I can understand.  35 years old man.  You can almost classify me as an antique….if I were a wine I would be vintage and yet I still feel like a little kid.  I think the phrase “when are you going to grow up” has been utterly lost on me although I have to admit that things are starting to ache and crack especially after about 450 dives this season.  I wake up in the morning and I walk around like I’m 70.  Feet swollen, calves’ sore, hips popping….that’s what you get for swimming for 4 hours a day I suppose.  I always tell my divers that I don’t really wake up until I hit 10 meters on the first dive of the day so hold any questions until that point.  I’m old…really old….I remember looking at people my age when I was a kid and thinking how old they were and how that would never happen to me.  Fuck growing old with grace, kicking and screaming is my motto and that’s the way I shall go…..fight, fight against the dying of the light.

Now that I have gotten you all caught up with the last few weeks here in my life I can give you the current situation which is I have left khao lak for the time being and am on the move.  Where I am going is a bit of a mystery but hey that’s life right?  I am currently in Bangkok taking care of a few things that have piled up over the months in khao lak.  My laptop had died back in October so I finally got it resurrected for $60…new motherboard don’t ya know.  So now I can type at my convenience and then post it when I feel like it instead of trying to pound out an entry while I’m getting charged by the minute to use the damn Internet.  I am leaving tomorrow for Laos for a few days because I need to take care of some visa issues but after that I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  At the moment my options seem to be either go to ko tao and wait for some work to show up or go look for some work in Indonesia with no guarantee of finding it.  It’s a bit of a toss up at the moment so I will let you know as soon as I figure it out. 
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mickey b on

you know how i feel about "saving Face" .. their face, my ass! I say give um hell .

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