Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Finding Nemo

Well, I've now officially gotten to dive (diven?) in "real" water. We went down to Aqaba and I went with a friend to the Royal Dive Center (Jordan is a kingdom, if you didn't know). My first dive was apparently quite advanced. It was a wreck dive around an old tanker or something that had sunk a few years ago. It was a lot of fun, although I burned through my tank of air pretty quickly. The dive master said that I moved around too much. He didn't know until later that it was my first dive outside of the quarry where I did my checkout and the tank at the research lab where I worked as an undergrad. The friend I was with said that I did really well though. And I saw a lion fish that time, and apparently had a barracuda swimming above me, but I didn't look the right direction in time to see it.

The second dive was easier and much more pretty. Don't get me wrong - there was great coral, etc. on the first dive and I had a blast seeing everything and being upside-down as often as possible, but it was mostly just this wreck which was cool, but not especially pretty. The second one I got to see a _huge_ fan coral. I'm talking 5-6 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide and in perfect condition. I also saw a moray eel (very colorful) and a stone fish! Plus, just as we got in, we saw some flounder-looking thing that's apparently really rare. It was colorful and flat, with both eyes on the top. But there were all sorts of colors of coral and anenomes and lots of clown fish, although I never saw a little one with a gimpy fin. :)

I was pretty tired afterwards though. And it's _definitley_ been a long time since I've had a regulator in my mouth for that long. I could hardly open my mouth to eat my lunch! And the muscles are still a little sore (in my legs too).

But I got a pretty good tan laying out the day before on the beach. That was pretty much all there was to do in Aqaba (lay on the beach and dive/snorkel), so I figured I'd "done it all" and came back yesterday.

Today we went shopping. The girls wanted some clothes since we'll be here longer than anticipated, and while I was out with them, we happened across a music store, so I bought a guitar to tide me over until we get back home. It's a classical guitar that the guy said was made in China (it makes a big difference in price here, depending on where things were made - China's usually near the bottom of the list), but it sounds pretty good now that we've got a new set of strings on it. They're still stretching though, so it'll be a few more days before it'll last through a song without losing its tune.

We also saw the Roman Amphitheater here in town. I hadn't seen that yet, so that was fun, although I didn't have my camera with me...but then I've already got pictures of me at the amphitheatre at Pergamum in Turkey and at one in Cyprus...and, really, they all look about the same, so it's not _that_ big of a loss. :)

I did attempt to race Chris up to the top, but his young legs beat my old ones. :)

Not much else to say...no update on my computer. So I'll talk to y'all later!

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