Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Scuba Diving off Solana

Tyrone and I went scuba diving in Anilao over the weekend. We stayed in Dive Solana, which is pretty much our favorite resort there. The manager, Adrien Uichico, has really improved the food and Ty ate a lot over the weekend. As another added plus, the road is now fully concrete all the way to the resort.

The first picture is from our first dive at Cathedral Rock. Ty hadn't been diving since August so the eagle-eyed diver will spot an error in his dive gear setup. (I've revealed the error at the end of this post.)

Despite that, all the dives were fantastic. I've loaded up around five videos on YouTube, one of which is here. You can find the rest by doing a search for "hkpirate." In this one, take note of the big titan triggerfish that tries to get in on the fish-feeding action.

Ty's cousin, Francis, came with us. Francis is 13, just two years older but a good head and a half taller. He is also hoping to learn scuba over the summer, perhaps as part of his graduation gift for finishing grade school. He and Ty did a lot of snorkeling in between dives (at least when they weren't played Nintendo). Despite the size difference, the two are best friends and have been since they were young.

Ty has been diving since he was nine. In August 2005, his Aunt Mary invited me to go scuba diving on board the Ocean Hunter II in Palau and I took him and Annika to bunk in with me. That week, I took them both snorkeling and taught Ty how to dive. He was able to complete several dives, getting all the way down to 70 feet on the last one.

On this dive weekend, we got even deeper at the Darilaut wreck. Off the back end, it slopes into the 90's and we hit 94 feet while videoing the resident school of batfish. Of course, we immediately swam up to safer depths.

His buoyancy control is steadily improving and his ability to spot critters is pretty good. I remember last August he found a cuttlefish for the group. On this trip, he spotted several morays and stonefish.

Ty and Francis were inseparable - like these two Nemos I photographed in Cathedral. I like this shot because I got the two fish to nestle into the anemone, something that is usually impossible to do since the clown fish are trying to bite your fingers. Also a bit of the anemone's underskirt is showing, which gives it added sexiness.

Note: The dive gear error is that Tyrone is breathing from his octopus and not the usual regulator - you can tell from the yellow hose. By the end of the dive, we had that sorted out and got all those flying hoses properly clipped to him as well.

Monday, March 26, 2007

January 19, 2005

There are certain dates in one's life that are more significant than most. For me, my daughter Annika's birthday in 2005 was especially life changing.

From that time, I've tried to be more aware of my kids, how much time I spend with them, how they're growing up, what values they have ... what legacy I might be leaving them.

I actually started this blog two years ago. Am so glad to be getting back to it!

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