We both really enjoy scuba diving, and this trip we had quite a range! (If you're ever on Aruba and want to give it a try, we dive with Aqua Windie's Water Sports and I can't recommend them enough. Family-owned business and in addition to excellent quality equipment and instructors, you'll feel like one of the family by the time you're done.)
About a week into our trip we scuba-ed at Baby Beach on the southeast end of the island. It's considered a challenging dive, because there is generally a lot of current. (This is the place where an American tourist a couple of years ago was either swept out to sea while snorkeling, or murdered for the insurance money, depending on which story you believe.) But there were five of us who had been diving together before, and the divemaster agreed we were all skilled enough to attempt it. Dan and I had had other plans before we were invited along, which we rescheduled to take advantage of this rare opportunity to try something new.
Knowing the area's reputation for current, we had planned it as a "drift" dive, where we would enter the water at one beach and get a lazy free ride downstream on the current until we came out at the next beach. What we hadn't expected was just how strong the current was -- stronger than any of us could swim against for long as it swept us, helplessly and way too fast, past some absolutely spectacular sea life and scenery -- and not one of us escaped without some scrapes and bruises as the waves pushed us against the reef going out and coming in. Wonderful and scary, we ended the day elated and exhausted at the same time.
Afterward, Dan and I agreed that this had been a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Literally. Because knowing what I know now, unless conditions are a lot milder, I don't think I want to attempt that dive again.
Exactly a week later, though, we were diving again. It was a spectacular weather day, the most perfect diving conditions we'd ever had. Easy, relaxed, and glorious contrast to the previous week. After our second dive of the day I told Manon and Ed, who had both been with us the previous week, that I thought I'd never want to dive again.
"What?" Ed looked at me in amazement. "Last week, after Baby Beach, I could understand you saying that. It was a tough day. But today? Today was gorgeous! I don't get it!"
"Yes," I said. "Today was gorgeous. It was absolutely perfect - the company, the weather, the sights, everything came together perfectly. The best its ever been. That's just the point, it will never be that perfect again. Ever after, will be a letdown."
(Photos by the incomparable Manon Houtman. More of her dive photos are in this post from 2 years ago.)
The power of the tribe
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