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the waters of Isla Bastimentos

I woke up again at 8am for the second third straight day in a row. And I'm going to do the same tomorrow, maybe even earlier! This morning it was partly cloudy, partly sunny. It was going to be a good day in the deep blue sea.

Maybe not so deep, this is Caribbean and I am on an island, but definitely blue. I'd booked a dive trip with a company on the main island where I'm staying, but canceled at the last minute because no one else was on the roster. Instead, I headed out on a water taxi across the bay to Isla Bastimentos to dive with Rob who runs The Dutch Pirate. I liked the name better, arr!

Ended up being quite a few people on the first boat ride out, 8 in total including Rob and his new instructor/Dive Master. The first couple was from Berlin. Being "older" they had many more years experience diving in Egypt, Southwest Asia, and the Galapagos Islands. The second boy/girlfriends were from Germany too I think and had just completed the first course. Every tourist around here seems to be from Germany or Holland. Everyone was fun. I buddy teamed up with a French guy who I think said he flies/flew jets (or something like that). His girlfriend-ish was still studying for her Open Water Diver certification. He was a Divemaster in another life.

Having only been out in the scuba gear back in Belize, I was glad to be paired up with an experienced diver. The first go round we hit about 60 feet or so and it wasn't too exciting. We navigated down a trench, Chiquita Channel, where the banana boats come through on their way to/from the mainland. It was sandy, maybe you'd call it dirty, but its the ocean so I'll go with dusty. All the coral was covered in dusty sand. I tried to dust a few off. It was going to take awhile so I quit.

After 45 minutes underwater, we surfaced and headed back to the dock for our interval time where I suddenly came down with an amazingly nice set of pregnant woman cramps. Rob said it was fine, just go slower on the next round if I went into labor. I didn't. The dive at Donkey Dunk wasn't dusty, visibility better and we lost the group. Awesome. French guy had his own computer and compass so it wasn't an issue. We just swam around in a big circle anyways. Caught a great view of a huge stingray, but mostly just fish. What type of fish? The types you see in the salt water aquarium at Pets Mart.

Resurfacing at 50 minutes we found the boat 20 meters away, everyone else on board waiting. The weather had turned overcast in the past few hours, so much for the idea diving with the sun, and it started raining on the 15 minute trip back.

Now I'm exhausted. Underwater takes it out of you. Dehydrates body, impels sleep. I'm going to sleep well tonight and head main/inland tomorrow to relax in a waterfall...

Bocas del Toro, islands, diving, Panama

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Posted By: Brendon 1/25/2009