I hope you guys are having a great Easter. In Spain, Easter is a big deal, as it should be, but they make a bigger show of it than in the U.S. The streets are full of processions of people dressed in hooded white robes that look shockingly like the Klan. In fact, when I first came to Spain 12 years ago and tried to get my pictures developed in the U.S., the film was flagged by the FBI because of its possible link to the KKK.
Sidra and I have had the week off during Santa Semana (Holy Week) and traveled to Ibiza, Spain for four days. After traveling the way we have the past few months spending only two days in one place, four days seemed unnecessarily long. Contrary to what we expected, the island was tranquil; usually, it is a party town--not that that's why we went. :) We decided we needed a little adventure, so we went scuba diving.
Now, at first, this seemed like a good idea. We saw it online and booked it straight away. But as the day of our appointment started to inch closer, I started having second thoughts. A lot can go wrong in the ocean, and a friend of mine took the time to send me a whole article on the many sharks that lived in the Mediterranean Sea. The night before we were to go, I was in bed thinking,"Why am I doing this? I'm too old to be making these kinds of mistakes." When I rolled over to share my thought with Sidra, she flatly responded, "I spent 75 euros on this, and there are no refunds, so I'm going!" Then, promptly went to sleep.
By the next day, my head was still ping-ponging between "Go! It'll be fine!" and "How am I going to tell my mother that she only had one daughter left." I had reasoned that I would go and at least be a lookout if I decided I definitely wasn't going through with it. After signing our lives away and doing a quick Google search on the signs of embolism (apparently you can get them using pressurized air), we set off for a quiet cove that looked pretty safe and was close enough to land that I figured I could look at fish and keep one hand on a rock just in case.
Looking over the edge of the boat, the water was SO clear! You could see all the way down to the bottom. Our instructors were getting us ready, and I noticed a few times where they were talking to each other and examining the boat and using words like "forgot" and "oh, crap" -- not comforting. Among other things, this ragtag group of instructors forgot to give Sidra and me hoods for our wetsuits. "Oh," one of them said in that sort of high pitched tone a person uses when they are trying to make something bad sound ok. "Well, it should be alright. Don't worry about it," nodding their own hooded heads up and down. "It might just be a little colder for you." Thinking to myself...
They weren't lying. It was stop-your-heart-cold! And the water was seeping into every crevice--down our collars (where the hood would have been) slowly snaking down our backs and up our pant leg. By the time it got to your groin, you were hollering! Next, was the breathing. They started us with just our faces and learning how to get used to breathing underwater. That was not as difficult to overcome as body control was. My instructor was trying to lead me under the water, but I kept floating back to the top. They finally had to put some extra weights in my jacket so that I could actually scuba dive instead of scuba float!
Once we were under there, it was amazing! Really gorgeous and surreal to be up close to animals and plants that you never get to interact with. We had an underwater cameraman who followed Sidra and me to capture the experience. Sidra was having a full photoshoot, striking poses, while I am staring bug-eyed and horror-stricken into the lens concentrating on not drowning.
After we re-boarded, we reflected on our experience with a few of the other passengers who also dove that day.
"Wasn't it incredible?"
"Oh, yes! Simply majestic!"
After a few minutes of this, I noticed that even though we were all aboard, we weren't moving. I turned around to ask my instructor what was going on only to see him at the edge of the boat relieving himself right on top of all that "majestic beauty." Smh.
At any rate, it was a great experience, although I probably won't do it again, and overall a great vacation largely because Sidra and I enjoyed each other's company so much. Lots of silliness and laughs about nothing, the best kind. We have one final trip probably in June, and then we are back in July!