June 15, 2004

The last couple of days have been great. On Sunday we did the best dive I have done in years. It was definitely one of the top 10 dives ever. It was about 4 miles away outside the reef near an island called One Tree Island because (you guessed it) it has only one palm tree. There is an awesome drop-off that goes to about 160 feet. The weather was calm and there was absolutely no current. The coral was pristine and varied including some soft corals. We saw a huge grouper around 3 and a half feet long and 2ft wide. Also saw a large Napoleon Wrasse. Three large (14 inch) Filefish fell in love with Jordan and followed him the entire dive. I think they thought he was the Mother File Fish. The cliffs of coral made an awesome landscape.

Yesterday we went back to the same sight. The wind had picked up and when we dropped in there was a slight current that picked up a bit during the dive. Otherwise the dive was just as good. We got the look over by a big old fat white tip shark that stayed with us for a while. I saw an interesting variety of puffer fish I hadn't ever seen before and a cute small green nudibranch. When we came up, the sky had darkened and there were squalls all around us. The ride back was very rough as we flew off and then slammed down onto 3 to 4ft ocean swells. We did manage to stay up on a plane so at least it was a fast trip. One of the tanks fell over during the trip and Jordan tried to get me to stand it back up but the moment I let one hand free I almost bounced out of the dingy! I was shaken up rather well. We surfed in over the reef picking up so much speed that I started to hum the Hawaii Five-O theme song. The trip is a bit of a rush not to mention the diving.

I was starving, as we didn't get back till 2. Jonah was bit worried because we were around a half hour later than we said we would be. I made a plate of sashimi for myself and inhaled it. Jordan made bread and cookies - what a househusband! I took Jonah in to shore to play and get his sillies out. I sat and talked to Joe deBrum for a while. We had been planning a dive trip with him but unfortunately a young man committed suicide in the village on Saturday night and they used his boat to ferry the body to the burial island. There is a high rate of suicide among teenage boys in Micronesia. The boys tend to hang themselves, which is, presumably, the only available method. The entire village seemed as quiet as a mouse all Sunday and Monday. I talked to Joe and gave him our condolences. Everybody is related to everybody here so it affects the entire place.

The large turtles we saw the day before were slaughtered already. I saw them briefly washing the turtle entrails in the water. What they heck are they going to do, make turtle sausages? I didn't really get a good look as all that blood makes me nauseous.

Jonah is doing great at school. His writing is starting to improve. Yesterday at 8am he informed me that it was time to start school, so I think he is enjoying himself.

We all seem to be in a clothes melt down. Shirts, shorts and underwear seem to be ripping or bagging. The salt air and water plus drying things in the hot sun tend to be pretty brutal on clothes. Even Jonah's new bathing suits (okay they are now 6 months old) are starting to look beat. We are all going to be stocking up on the summer sales back home. I am very excited about going home and seeing family and friends.