Sunday, August 05, 2007

Jeff Turbitt and the Temple of Doom

I went to the Grotto today, where I saw nudibranch Harry doing his thing that blows all of our blogs out to Yap, and then I made my first venture to the Grotto's Temple of Doom at 137 feet deep.

It started with a surface snorkel swim outside the Grotto to get to the right spot. It was said to be calm by normal standards, but it still wasn't too much fun -- choppy and rough to my senses. The most exciting thing about this disappointing dive was that this was the first time I was narced. The buzz didn't last too long, and it wasn't too hard to handle. I kind of liked the buzz to be honest. Being aware that you were narced helped. There were very few fish there today -- I mean shockingly few. Fewer than I've ever seen. I love the Grotto, but I have to say, it's too taxing between the steps and getting across, I really fret a lot about getting in and out of there, and then there is the fear of having a hose bust scraping something in those little caves you go explore. To me, it is dangerous and I seriously thought I was going to die there once when I got knocked into the wash machine. My dive buddy Marty Dalsaso, who took the picture below, helps with that considerably, as he knows the place like the back of his hand, so I'm very confident in his guidance. The guy is Aquaman for real. I have three days of leg pain after every trip from climbing up those steps at the end. This pic below tells you why people do it and put themselves through that effort. Fan corals are cool.
I've had a few unpleasant experiences with shore dives here. I had one difficult experience at Wing Beach, with someone who didn't quite explain to me what I was getting into with that current pulling you out, nothing bad happened but it was taxing as hell, and I got coral scraped a bit at Lau Lau once as well. Unlike most everyone on the island, I would much rather pay and do a boat dive, which I find much more fun and relaxing, and where I've never had any of the unpleasantness I just described.

I like Bruce Bateman's boat in particular. I'm learning about boating from Bruce. I didn't know anything about it before, and it is always cool to learn something new. I've got the anchoring down pat now I think. Bruce and I went to the B-29 Saturday and that was pretty damn cool. Bruce is now claiming on his blog it is not a B-29. See what he says. I don't have a clue myself on that one. That propeller under the water is quite a site, as is the whole plane. These pictures are courtesy of Mike Tripp, who has a great DVD out on Saipan Diving. The plane looks way bigger underwater. I should make the investment in an underwater camera. Not only could I get some great pics, I could make some headway on Harry.

Bruce and I talked about going out to Naftan Sunday the 12th, which sounds great to me. Mike Tripp talked about how great Naftan is yesterday.
I've gotten into podcasts, not making them, but downloading them. I was over at the Itunes site and there is a lot of cool stuff for free. It is great to have while traveling, or when I do my walk on the Oleai path. Speaking of Itunes, I can't set up an account there because the NMI isn't a credit card address option, and we aren't a "country" either. Many places aren't countries, either. Very annoying.
I read in a book full of culinary tips that cloves will keep ants away. I've tested that claim, and it's true. They won't go near them, and I have no shortage of extremely annoying ants in the house to test this out.
On Saturday the 11th at 1:30 pm I am planning to paint my classroom at SSHS if I can get some helpers. I'm funding this project, not PSS of course, but I need help in the form of painters. I won't be so glib as to call painting a party, but if you want to help the school with this project, it would be deeply appreciated by me and I'm sure a few hundred students. I'm dropping well over $100 to Beautify A-102 at SSHS, and these things get thrust upon the teachers financially. I just dropped $50 on blinds so we can use the powerpoint technology without massive glare. I can deal with that, I'm fortunate enough to be doing ok compared to a lot of people on this island, but I really need painters, and please bring rollers and trays. I have some, but will need more. I need the classroom to look right to set the right learning mood. I painted this room three years ago, but it needs it again. I had the floors professionally waxed this weekend, and painting is what needs to happen next. I've spent more time dealing with the rat droppings and classroom cleaning than lesson planning this week, but this needs to be taken care of first. We don't have custodians for the classrooms. Cleaning and maintenance is a teacher and student activity. Leave a comment if you can help, please.


joe jose joseph said...

Yeah, I hate it when online pull-down menus list all US protectorates as well as the Marshalls and other Pacific islands except NMI.

Thanks for the cloves tip

Bev said...

Naftan point was fun to dive. i went on the aqua jet 2 weeks ago. Plenty of fish action=) Still have to post pics but i have been lazy uploading. We still have to go on a dive together. Maybe we can attempt another blogger boat dive now that you are back.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I will ask the Friends of the Mariana Islands if they are free on Saturday.

Rick Jones said...

Hey Jeff,

I'm supposed to be on Tinian that day, but Java Joe's will donate coffee and pastries for you and whatever volunteers you get. Just let me know how many and we'll get it set up for you.


Bruce A. Bateman said...

Lets make it a go for Sunday the 12th. 2 dives at Naftan and Boy Scout. We can take 3 more divers max on my boat. So the first 3 to 'sign up' get to go.

This will be a BYOB dive so bring drinks and lunch for yourself. We will share gas expenses. Souldn't be much with 4 or 5 divers and all of us sharing.

Leave your name here or over at my blog if you want to go.

**** I can help the Painting process on Saturday. I'm a hell of a supervisor. I can certainly tell them where to put that brush.

Okay, I'll be there, in raggety ass clothing.

Jeff said...

Thanks Rick, Bruce and Angelo. Bev, I am ready when you and others are for the second blogger dive.

Rick said...

You should paint first, then wax, Daniel-san. Wax on, wax off. Paint classroom!

Seriously, if I wasn't in Seoul this weekend holding up one end of a bar I'd come over and help out. Especially for free coffee and pastries. Mmmm.