September 24

We are still here at Aore. We did some more diving. The second dive we did was a deep decompression dive. That means you have to wait some extra time before surfacing. For this dive we had to stop 2 minutes at 30 feet, 3 at 20 and then 5 at 15 for a dive that went to 140 feet for 20 minutes. Then there was the extra safety stop which at least was at a lovely coral “garden” with tons of fish, especially anemone fish.  

Most people also do a 2 or 3 minute safety stop at 10-15 feet (as recommended by the Dive organizations) for every dive, even if it is not a decompression dive. But the Vanuatu dive operators have instituted some new safety rules and stop an extra 10 minutes at 10ft in addition to the normal decompression schedule. In addition, our dive computers track how fast we are changing depths and complain by beeping if we violate the safety parameters.  

The second dive was awesome – we went to the bow of the ship – looked at the Captains quarters and the guns. Again there is tons of stuff scattered around the wreck. We went into some fairly tight spaces and my tank got hung on some low doorways. I am not great at small closed spaces and I relaxed once we got out of the inside of the ship. Jordan went alone the next day to do a interior dive of the ship – very deep dive at around 150 feet. We were supposed to leave today but Jordan really enjoys the diving and wants to do one final dive to the engine room which is at 170ft.Yikes. Jonah came with us on the first two dives and loved it. He sat on the bow of the small dive boat with the divemaster as we sped to the dive site. While we did our dive, he stayed with one of the local guys who drove the boat and swam around. It was fun to surface and have him cheer and clap.  

Today we have to do some school and house work. Jonah is doing well with his reading. It seems to be suddenly clicking with him and we are making good progress. He is whizzing thru the Calvert Math program to get to the point where he is actually at – somewhere halfway through the year. The educational materials are ok – they are helpful but so much of the material presumes life in North America . I am fairly comfortable with improvising by now and we do pretty well. Our goal this year is simply to get him reading on his own with ease. He is tackling the Calvert material on reading and writing fairly well which is great as it is very tough first grade stuff. I want him to be prepared to enter the NZ school this February with comfort as they are very focused on reading.  

I have been reading the Harry Potter books to Jonah and he is loving it. We are on book 3 and he begs me to read more chapters all the time. I do about 2 or 3 a day. The second book was so exciting at the end, we stayed up till 10 pm one night so we could finish it. Yesterday in school we used  a quill and ink and made a magic scroll. Last night we jumped around the couch when Harry won a Quidditch match (if you don’t know – don’t ask). Jonah is amazed that one author wrote all this stuff out of her imagination – it has impressed him greatly. He loves to play with the books – he takes all four of them from the shelf and leafs thru them, sorts the ones we have read and looks at the ones we haven’t.