I headed out for my first dive of the year today. I’m so hungry for it I can taste it. It is pouring down rain, but I don’t care, as it means less sun exposure.
My dive master, Silas, is from the Malindi area, just north of Mombasa. In addition to being very good at spotting all sorts of cool things under water, he is also responsive to my interest in learning more Swahili.
Our first dive is to a place called Nomad, which I find appropriate. We see at least a half a dozen massive turtles. They look like they’ve come from the bottom of the sea, and Silas confirms that he’s never seen those turtles before. They are by far some of the biggest I’ve seen. Silas later tells me that when the full moon comes they’ll be baby turtles hatching, as I was fortunate enough to see on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
The coolest thing we see is an octopus that puts on quite a show for us. In response to our prompting, the octopus flashes colors, from dark to light, and back again. Some times in an instant from one color to the next, at other times fanning out its colors. He waves out his suctioned arms and I am smitten with him. Makes me not want to indulge in calamari.
My other note from the dive was purple, the color abounded. From one vibrant coral to the next, there were many shades of purple. With a few pops of orange for contrast.
We surface between dives and it is frigid. The rain pelts down and the sea is full of swells. I can’t help but shiver as I eat my slices of oranges and banana to refuel between dives. I drink down my bottle of water as I try to stop the shaking. I wonder if I’ll be too cold for dive number two. Luckily when I hit the water I’m relieved that it is much warmer in the water than up above in the boat.
We continue to have a nice second dive, despite lower visibility due to the rain, than you normal have in these parts. It’s still awesome. I can’t help but love it. After our safety stop I do some underwater back flips and Silas joins me in the fun.
As we head back over the swells I can’t help but feel at home on the ocean. Despite the shivering conditions, I dream of spending a few months on the ocean at some point in my life.
I nicked my knee slightly just as I came up from the first dive. The captain asks if it is a baby shark attack. I can’t help but continue to think of my nephew all afternoon as I sing to myself a cute little song he shared over the holidays. It goes something like “baby shark, nah-nah, nah-nah-nah, baby shark” “mama shark nah-nah, nah-nah-nah, mama shark”, as you dance with one limb less until the end of the song. Probably not the best song for a diver, but I can’t help but smile as I think of it.
Can’t wait to dive more next weekend!