What do you do when you can’t dive!
As we lay here on the beach, the weather is not permitting us to dive.
We came to Jamaica to dive! We researched the dive sites, packed the appropriate gear. Lugged it through the airport, asked by the TSB, “What is that?” To which we replied, “Scuba divers call it a regulator.”
We’re on the plane and getting more excited. Watching the GPS; getting ever so close. You know the feeling. OK, we did have that one strange passenger/traveler. (That’s another story)
As we arrive and land on the runway in Jamaica, we notice water on the tarmac. At first we though it was the lights from the airport. It’s dark now, but it sinks in that the water is rain. Now we know the tropics and know the rain comes at night. But we get that sick feeling that this is not a good thing we are looking at.
We go through customs and then the task of finding our bus to the resort. We board the bus, the driver takes the bags, and we’re off. He states that we have to make a few stops before the resort. The 45-minute ride turns into 90 minutes. One of the “stops” involves a friendly chat. Then, he stops to talk with another driver. We wave at the passengers on the other bus. Now for the last stop—This one at a small roadside bar! Red Stripe beer, and they are cold. It’s his cousin’s place. Afterward, we all pile back on the bus and finally arrive at the resort.
Now it’s late and we are a little tired. We check in and head to the room. Great room: Large bed, ocean view (we can see it although it’s still dark). We’re off to the bar and meet up with the others. Have a few drinks and laughs. The plan for tomorrow is to hit the dive shop and set up our plan for the week. Then sit by the pool and get the gear ready for the dives.
We wake up to rain. Now most of us are Midwest divers, so rain and viz for us are no problemo. We hit the dive shop, sign the waivers, and talk to the divemaster about the weather. He says, “It will break today and clear for diving tomorrow.” OK! Now we are pumped and off we go to the pool, check the gear, chat, and drink and chow on some great breakfast. The beach is a nice walk. There is a break just about 50 yards offshore and the waves are hitting it pretty hard. But the break is calming them down and the waves just lap our feet on the beach.
Later, we find the lunch buffet and sit down for a good meal and conversation. The afternoon is about the same. Dinner is great! The nightly entertainment is awesome. Dancers, music, and just a good time. We head back to the room for a good night of sleep and get ready for our dives tomorrow.
We are up. It seems a little dark for 7 a.m. As we open the drapes, we are hit with the obvious fact that we are NOT diving today. It’s raining, the wind is wild, and the sea is a mess. We run to the dive shop and meet up with the rest of the group. The divemaster states, “It’s not good today and the storm is creating a riptide. It’s just not good today. Maybe tomorrow?”
Now there is about fourteen of us. We all look at each other and just are dumbfounded. “What?? we can’t dive!?” No way? Now what?
What do you do, when you can’t dive?
We hit the breakfast buffet and plan the day. The plan is to see the town and the locals. We call for a ride. Hey! It’s our bus driver, the one that brought us from the airport. This is going to be fun. He tells us that he will take us to all the good places for deals and more. We ride for about 30 minutes, then we hit another cousin’s bar. The driver has us for 5 hours and we go to about 6 places. Spent a ton of cash and had a great time. I almost missed the bus because I was buying a gift. Now, we are in Jamaica. So you have to work the deal and remember that some things you buy you can’t take home.
So now back to the resort. Dinner and another great night of entertainment. Off to bed and then diving tomorrow.
We meet up at the dive shop in the morning. Again, the divemaster states the weather is bad and the riptide is worse. We take all this in stride, having been blown out before, and of course better safe than sorry. We don’t dive if it’s unsafe. So we will wait until tomorrow. This is day one of no diving.
OK, now we are on day five and still no diving. The weather has been the same the whole week. We tell the divemaster that we are just doing to strap a bunch of rocks to us and dive the beach. Of course we don’t. But we will. Now as you can imagine we are at wit’s end. We came to dive and have been blown out everyday. The weather has teased us a few times, sunny one minute and cloudy the next. Calm winds, then a blast that sent the red flags a-whipping.
We can’t say the 6 days have not been fun. We have met new friends. Visited other resorts. Played every game the entertainment director came up with. Ate and drank.
When the weather settled down a little we could walk the beach and the wind might pick up a little. We would just pick the sand out of our teeth. We even snorkeled a few times in the inlet.
Now it’s time to go home. Can we say that we have not had a good time? No. We are divers and we know life’s a journey, above water as well as below. The journey of our scuba life will not end because we couldn’t dive this time. Some of our topside adventures are good or better than our underwater ones.
We will dive again…