Git me in da water!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Nov 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel Maria la Gorda

Flag of Cuba  , Pinar del Río,
Thursday, September 23, 2010

The hotel buffet breakfast isnīt bad after I had to battle through all the kittens to get in.  The poor little things look half starved.  The fruits here are amazing and I think Iīm getting addicted to the guavas.  Iīm really excited about my first dive as the waters here are supposed to be amazing.  I sign my life away in the usual style and jump onto the boat.  Weather slightly overcast today but hey I will be under the water so donīt mind.  I get partnered with a small little Brazilian woman who is rather hot and a little nervous.  I turn on the old Murphy charm and have her lathing in no time.  We are the advanced group so we will be taking a deeper route than the other chumps.  Over the side and Iīm absolutely blown away with the viz (visibility).  The water is crystal clear and you can see for what seems like miles.  The sand is an amazing white colour and probably reflecting a lot back but it is the best viz I have ever dived in.  Early part of the dive nice and easy over a sandy bottom with some coral outcrops and my buddy seems to be donin ok but I can tell that she is going to suck air.  Suddenly we go over the wall and there is this huge drop off. I think that my buddy has a little panic attack but we get it back under control but she has downed a lot of air.  She ends up going onto the dive guides octo as he practically has gills but fails to understand that his octo is attached to his tank and therefore she needs to go where he goes.  After a few early mishaps she figures it out.  Myself and a french guy are the only ones taking photos so he brings us to the front so that he get snaps before the rest arrive and stir things up.  He goes mad pointing out lionfish which Iīve seen a lifetimes worth in Thailand and the Red Sea but what is interesting is that they are not native to Caribbean waters but they are invading and spreading fast as they have no local predators.  So good shots that Iīll upload later but all your usual contenders.

After a short interval we did a dive from the boat to shore which was interesting cos we there was a heavy rainstorm above.  It is cool the patterns that rain makes on the surface when you are looking up.  Not so cool when you are running for a bus on OīConnell street.  Last dive of the day, Peter, you would have loved this one, was called the Aquarium and it was exactly that.  Loads of little stuff everywhere.

Back to shore and Jo and Joony were having some fun with big Cuba cigars.  A few drinks in the bar afterwards, dinner and early to bed.  With CNN in the room it appears that a big tropical storm is heading to Belize.  I hope it doesnīt mess things up in Cozumel and Belize.  Any how light out but finding it difficult to settle as it turns out I have critters in the bed.  I was considering where I was getting the bites.  After much spraying they seemed to leave me alone but I will probably have to be sheep dipped before I can come home. 

Long way to go for a dive but based on the company and diving it was so worth it!
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