||Stoney Lake, Michigan
||This where I got my open water license, in a chilly
inland lake. Supposedly Michigan offers fantastic wreck diving (due
to the fresh water Great Lakes) but I've yet to dive in a Great Lake.
||I was still too inexperienced to really enjoy the sites
without concentrating on my diving skills but
it was a real treat to dive in 85 degree water without a wet suit. I
sure felt naked at first. It was my first tropical dive location --
fish, what a novelty! We also dove a wreck site where a WW2 wreck
(the Tokai Maru) is sitting on top of a WW1 wreck. Read my letter
home about this trip for more details.
||This was another great tropical dive experience. This
was a memorable trip -- the first time I saw a shark and the first time I
was attacked by sea life (not the shark, luckily)! I wrote a letter
home about this trip too.
||By this time, tropical sea life -- moray eel, lion fish,
corals, etc. -- was starting to get old hat. I'm getting
spoiled! Michigan diving was just a hazy memory. Ran out of air and
had to use my partner's octopus for the safety stop -- but the damn thing
had probably never been serviced and I was breathing 35% water along with
the air! That was a bit disconcerting at first. The lack of
pictures of the underwater portion of my trips gets me thinking about
getting an underwater camera.
I'm back to diving in temperatures necessitating a wetsuit
but Izu has a rich variety of sea life, much more than you'd expect for
this latitude. Moray eel, flounder, and soft corals aplenty. Started
taking pictures with an
Ikelite Aquashot II
disposable camera housing. Lost the
camera on my second dive! Retrieved it at the surface but made a
note to find a way to clip it to myself. Got lots of crummy pictures
but a few good ones too.
|Despite the exotic sound of the location, it was a pretty
lame place to dive. The water was very warm and the corals were
mostly bleached dead. We're talking 88F (31C) water. Near the
hotel beach it was actually over 90F and we had to get into the hotel pool
to cool off! Did get to see a puffer fish puff itself up and a big
2 foot long grouper.
of the holy grails of diving -- The Great Barrier reef. And, yes, it
was pretty damned cool. Big man-sized clams, a big Napoleon fish
hanging around like a puppy dog, sea turtles looking absolutely elegant
and sleek reef sharks -- they were all there. Also did my first (one
night) live-aboard and night dive. Truly a trip to remember.
||More bright fish, lots of moray eel, and soft corals.
||Really nice tropical diving. Didn't see any big ooh
ahh type things but there was a large variety of sea life. Should have
boned up on my fish identification skills. Did see my first octopus,
however. Was annoyed that they wouldn't let me night dive
despite the fact that I'd done it before.
||Back to Izu -- it's the closest to Tokyo and lots and lots
to see. During this period, I achieved my PADI Advanced Open Water certification here
with the help of instructor and friend, Matt
Endo of Mar Scuba. If you want to dive near Tokyo, he's the one
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