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Boca Grande Beach

Post 7441

The Lone Arranger

Askadodo...I think you meant "here is a story about a 19-year old..."

Boca Grande Beach

Post 7442


Nice. The warm water. The beach frolics.
The Spirit Guides. The brave 19 yr old, thats sooo brave, I feel tame now because I've never been arrested. Haha. The Firecloud travelogues.

And all in your h2g2 journal! Like here. Nice! Can I visit!

Askadodo. Haha. Ask a dodo. I just got it. Got what? Erm.. everything. I just got everything

A Trip to H.M.S. Diamond Rock

Post 7443

The Lone Arranger

Martinique - July

H.M.S. Diamond Rock is 600 feet high. It looks like the top half of a large green granite cabbage off the Martinique coast. The rock was once occupied by the British who hauled cannons to the top. Admiral Hood commissioned it as a sloop in an impressive display of non-linear thinking. Strangely, the small island is still registered by the Admiralty as a British warship. The French defeated the British forces by floating a wreck with a number of barrels of rum up to the rock. They then proceeded to liberate the island fortress in a bloodless victory 12 hours later.

My wife and son arethere with me for diving. They both passed on the big trip to the rock. Our modern American gear didn't mate up with the French air tanks so I had to use their primitive equipment with no depth gauges, compasses or spare regulators.

In spite of my American Divemaster certification, I had to learn and demonstrate French diving hand signals to be permitted to sign up for the dive. They told us that we would be going into a beautiful cavern. One rule they had that was "special" was that it was not permitted to surface if we ran out of air. Instead, we were required to swim to the group leader who had two extra regulators and two tanks and ask him for permission to breathe his spare air.

We departed to dive the H.M.S. Diamond Rock on an old Chris Craft. A young Frenchman was the Captain. He lived on the boat with his wife and his baby.

The Diamond Rock cavern is shaped like an acute triangle with the apex only about 15 degrees, the floor is about ten feet across and the walls generally are about 30-40 feet high. Prolific sea fans and corals make the cavern itself beautiful and interesting.

A cavern is generally defined in the diving world as an enclosed space where you can always see at least a little daylight no matter how far in you go. A cave, by contrast, allows a diver to go deep enough to encounter complete darkness on sunny days with good water visibility conditions. There is a cavern in Florida, spring-fed, where you can go in 300 feet, turn off your flashlight and still see the entrance glow. I don't do caves and have no interest in becoming cave-qualified.

Cave divers are a strange bunch. They lay down line to find their way out, carry three lights and are trained to begin their exits after using 1/3 of their air. In spite of that a number of divers drown in Florida caves every young man took his last minutes to scratch "love you mom and dad" on his tanks...what a waste. I get a little antsy even in caverns because you can't just go straight up in an emergency swimming ascent when things go wrong.

The cavern was very spectacular. It was formed when a huge slab of granite rock fell down millions of years ago (or at least a while back). The cavern walls were covered with beautiful corals and sea fans. The current blew us in quite smartly for about 75 yards. Then we turned around. Progress back was very difficult and slow because of the apparently unanticipated strong current blowing into the cavern. I pulled myself hand-by-hand along the floor of the cavern because it was impossible to make progress swimming. This hard work and the strong current caused me to nearly deplete my air supply before entire dive party left me behind in a frenzy of panicky swimming activity and they all ran out of air in the cavern and then attached themselves to the "dive leader" who had two tanks. Because I pulled myself along the floor, in addition, to gently kicking, I emerged later with precious little air to spare and nowhere to go but up. It was my favorite dive out of the maybe 1500 I've done.

When I came out of the cavern and could again see the blue sky overhead, the two other divers with me had both run out of air in the cavern and were breathing off the group leader's two regulators. The group leader was actually breathing from his buoyancy control exhaust hose (a trick I never learned in my advanced courses). I swam over and showed him that I only had 200 pounds of air left and made the proper American signal (the bye-bye fluttery wave) for "I'm getting the hell out of here, you idiot!". I swam slowly to the surface to avoid embolisms without asking for any further permission, in complete violation of the dive rules.

On the way back, the young French Captain blew what appeared to be about two bottles of fine red French wine in the most perfect display of projectile vomiting I have ever seen. A colorful end to a perfect dive.

A Trip to H.M.S. Diamond Rock

Post 7444


Ah, here's an entire new world for me to enter, painted in words! A Firecloud travelogue! An honour.

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7445

Phred Firecloud

It's astounding;
Time is fleeting;
Madness takes its toll
But listen closely...
I've got to keep control
I remember doing the time-warp
Drinking those moments when
The Blackness would hit me

Kenny, Seth, James and Thomas wanted to see Rocky Horror...The movie rating required all the 13-year olds to be accompanied by parents. The cashier asks if all the boys are mine, staring pointedly at Thomas, who happened to be black.

The uniformed policeman motioned frantically to sell us the tickettaker, hoping to avoid an incident.

Time is fleeting...not for very much longer...I've got to keep control

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7446


Great postings, Mr Firecloud on top form.

smiley - musicalnotesmiley - musicalnote Let's do the time warp again.

heheh. I love that film. Meatloaf is brilliant. Who else can come roaring out of a freezer on a motorcycle, singing 'Hot patootie bless my soul I really love that rock and roll'.

I never saw the stage show, but Richard O'Brien is a genius, in my opinion. Very interesting guy in fact.

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7447

The Lone Arranger

Making progress on the excess vehicle issue and on buying a home near the grandchildren.

The anhingas have been enduring one deluge after the next...

I have a video of that and of two shift changes. One where the male takes over and vice-versa...

The hours spent editing have all resulted in ca-ca...I never find time to do it right the first bunch of times...but when I do...

smiley - drumroll

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7448

Phred Firecloud

The nest-building video you posted was great, fact it was tremendous...some people are saying it's the most tremendously great video ever po<sted on YouTube...The most views of anhinga nest-building EVER....smiley - applause

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7449

Askadodilges (hides His Foot)

The stage show was 1973...I'm surprised your mommy didn't take you to see it. Wonderful piece of nonsense...I had the soundtrack on cassette and a Walkman at one point...great for a 3 AM stroll along the dark Tampa piers, docks and waterfront dives...

The greatest piece of art produced by the UK since Hamlet.smiley - biggrin

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7450


Nice YouTube result of the Anhinga nest building! Yay! Anhingas, movie stars! Phreddy, the Director ..

I'm having a laugh, imagining going to the stage production of Rocky Horror with my mother, in 1973, or at any other time smiley - rofl

I've Got to Keep Control

Post 7451


How's it going with buying a home near the grandkids? Will you be leaving Florida completely? How many miles between Florida and the possible new home? Nice plans.

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