Sunday, February 29, 2004
late nights and warm water
the end of another weekend. and i'm stuffed. another cool group of people. there were only 11 divers so the cook and i managed 3 dives on saturday, including a night dive.
as usual, we managed to have fun, see cool stuff, and still do something kooky as well.
friday night should have been early. unfortunately, there were a few locals on board, not tired from a few hours south trip to get here. i woke up at 2:30 for a potty break, and at 3:00 i heard the generator shutdown.
saturday was a lovely day. the weather forecast was crap. big winds from the wrong direction and big swell as well. great for surfing, but not so good for diving. so we head to a sheltered location. the south-easterly swell was still wrapping around. but it was the long smooth type, and most people weren't affected. and the ones that were, got used to being baby-sat.
there is no way in the wide world i can get in for the first dive. well, i'm working, gotta be there to help them back in the boat, fill their tanks and generally get them ready for dive number 2. this is the busiest part of the weekend for me. it's amazing kooky things people will try to do. this one dude has a bad back. so were going to carry his gear to him at the edge of the boat, put it on him, and let him jump in. instead he chooses to climb down our steps, with all his gear and his fins on. a disaster waiting to happen.
handy hint for beginners: don't put your fins on until you are about to jump in. and remove them before getting back on the boat. i have personally caught 3 people who's fins were stuck on something and they were coming crashing to the deck, and another time, fortunately he fell over the side, as i missed him completely!
i beat them in for the next dive ( have to fill the tanks, find all my gear, put it together and jump in) the water is warm. and the terrain is interesting. due to the big seas we've been having, the sand ripples are nearly 30 cm high. we find some interesting little cracks and crevices to explore, and octopus who doesn't want to play. lots of stingrays. we swim back a slightly different way. and my buddy finds a weightbelt dug into the bottom. as she digs it out, a very upset wobbegong shark swims out from under us and buggers off. i didn't notice until the squeal, but to be perfectly honest (no i'm not brave) if it came back, i was gonna drop the weightbelt we found on it and bugger off. so we carry the damn thing back to the boat. sheeeet, working on scuba is very unpleasant. if we knew where the damn anchor was, i'd have removed my fins and just put it over my shoulders and walked back. but we only had a vague idea where the anchor was (by JINGO next time, we will have on person hold the damn thing, and the other can go up for directions!)
another good dive later, lots of fish, interacting, which means pissing each other off and chasing all over the place. every dive is different. this stupid goatfish has got the shits with me, so he's putting up his dorsal fin at me, then a sergeant baker moves, i only realise after he/she's done it, because the school of mado that were hanging around, have hit mach 3 and speared off into the distance. the way they interact and just act by themselves is very funny/interesting.
night dive time. i talk myself out of the night dive (i really want to have a beer and chill out), and then i talk myself back into it. 2 customers are night diving, and 3 crew. HAH! usually it's the other way around. although it's rare for everyone to night dive, ok very rare, a few weeks ago they _all_ got in for the night dive. i nearly passed out. anyway, one of my mates works on another boat as well as this one. we've been hurling abuse all day, and they've come back out for a dusk and night dive. one of the crew (ok the boss) has run into him and they go pipefish hunting. find some really cool ones. (digital cameras are the best). meanwhile the cook and i are diving with two of the customers. ok, they are pretty cool guys, but they really need to work on their awareness and buoyancy. we got kicked in the head at least 10 times each as they swam over us.
i didn't find any red indian fish, which i was looking for, but heaps of feather stars, green snot monsters (dunno what they really are), two sole (like flounders, sand coloured fishes that lay on the bottom and hide). hugest friggen ray i've ever seen, only with no tail, cruised past over the sand. i'm 6 foot 3 (or 190ish cm) and i couldn't have reached across the disc. it was like a volkswagen driving by. i was sorry it didn't come back. i love watching the way they move through the water. and the cutest little cuttlefish, he/she was trying to pretend to be a rock cod. the camouflage was all like the head of one, only it was too short!
later that night the wind shifts big time. we've got to move. coincindentally 3 of the crew wake at the same time. muggins deals with the anchor then we drive to the other side of the bay. i think i actually woke up again when we stopped, the noise of the anchor is a daytime trigger for me to shut off the port motor and secure the tender, so, almost walking in my sleep, i shutdown the donk, check the tender, and get back in my bunk and pass out. the cook has asked to be told if we move the boat overnight so she can go for a before breakfast dive. i'm not going cause i'm stuffed. but she has stuffed up am and pm on her alarm clock and it didn't go off anyway. :-)
ok, here's a scooter pic. i think we're going to use it for the family calendar next year. only as soon as they see it, my nieces, nephew, and son and daughter will want to do the same. (well at least i hope so! by JING, i moved away from the sea when i was 3, they have so much opportunity to enjoy the sea. i just want them to start wanting to.) ok, i'm a scrawny unfit bugger.
just another day in the office :-)
Friday, February 27, 2004
the surf is good, the sun is shining, the wind has all but gone, and it's blowing offshore. come in cyclone ivy! why the hell am i at work! i think i need to make an excuse to go and install a computer somewhere, somewhere close to the beach.
with hindsight, going out with the lads to celebrate them losing at twilight soccer grand final last night could have been a bad idea. and when we were at the first pub, only 2 blocks from home, and the coach said "come on lads, who's going to the tavern?" i should have snuck home. 500,000 18 year olds crammed into a small space. (hmmm but mini skirts are nice :-) ) hangovers are natures way of telling you that you are an idiot and you need more sleep.
thanks Tony for pointing me to the book quiz. as you can see, ulitimately i signify nothing. drat. why couldn't i get the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.
You're The Sound and the Fury!
by William Faulkner
Strong-willed but deeply confused, you are trying to come to grips
with a major crisis in your life. You can see many different perspectives on the issue,
but you're mostly overwhelmed with despair at what you've lost. People often have a hard
time understanding you, but they have some vague sense that you must be brilliant
anyway. Ultimately, you signify nothing.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
well so much for that idea. i've got the computer ready to go, surfboard is waxed and smelling pretty, wetsuit hasn't fallen to bits yet... but where i was meant to go, there has been a accident and two people killed :-( i know the intersection where it happened. it's a disaster area. the road is blocked for 5 hours we are told. that has just wrecked a few families' friday.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
the hazards of typos and jumping to conclusions
cruising along in my dim little world i decided to check on my blog. (ok, i've worked out who my main reader is: me!) and so i typed it in. http://lunacy101.blogpsot.com/. my first thought is some offended, religious type person has hacked my blog and put this up there, but the panic subsides as i realise i've made a typo.
i never could get the hang of thursdays
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
stop, revive, survive (my gripe for the day)
have you heard of the safety campaign, "stop, revive, survive"? it's a pretty good idea. the theory is that while you are driving, every 2 hours you stop, relax, take a coffee or whatever, and thus, survive by not having a fatigue related accident.
i'd like apply it to a different group of drivers. i appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with driving at 100 km per hour. the roads are there for all. but if you are driving at 20km under the speed limit, or more, and there is a huge line of cars behind you, then every 5 mins, stop, revive, survive. you're going so slow anyway that it's not gonna affect the length of your trip. every 5 minutes or so, pull off the road, and when you can safely pull out again, you can restart your trip (depends on how long you waited to pull off, if you waited 20 mins, it's gonna take a while because their banked back the last damn town)
i'm sure you think you're a safe driver, haven't been in an accident for 40 years (ok, sorry old dudes/dudettes, targetted you there, you aren't the only ones and not all older drivers do it) but have a thought for what's happening behind you. ok, a couple of cars behind you will wait for a safe place to overtake, then they'll go around. then a couple might be content to wait. that's ok, they can be overtaken too. but when you get a line of 20 cars, and there's a heap of stupid fools who just won't leave enough space between cars, add a few impatient people, and it's a recipe for disaster.
but you won't be in accident. been driving for 40 years, never been in an accident. i was driving under the speed limit, i'm a perfectly safe driver. drove 10 kms slower just to be safer. oh that speed camera, its a 60 zone (we're in a town), i'll cruise past at 40kmh. geeeezzzz, sure you're not gonna get booked at 40, but you're also not gonna get booked at 60. if you're bifocals don't work on the damn speedo, do something about it.
oh yeah, and you can't do any kooky overtaking moves on them. gotta be obvious and clean and lotsa space. cause, what if it was my grandma, christ (sorry god botherers, that's a curse, notta plea for anything, i'm gonna start using my grandad's curses :-) ) by jingo, she's hopeless, she'll go from an 80 zone, to a 100 zone, and miss the damn sign, not that i want her doin 100 anyway. sheet. and overtaking her? not in a car she can recognise! how's that for double standards! :-) whatdya think triga? would you overtake her? or do what i do, and just wait. can you imagine telling her to pull over every 5 mins to let the lineup through. i've been in the car with her, with the lineup behind. we're in a 100 zone, and she thinks it's 80. i'm not saying nuthin! and that was 10 years ago! by jing. she's sure got some stamina. (ok, i think i'm fairly safe, she's doesn't surf the net. and triga isn't gonna dob me in)
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
the first quarter they scored 4 or 5 goals, the same in the second, although we started to pick up a bit. zero in the third, and in the 4th, not only did we have some shots on goal, steal the ball heaps and heaps, but our super sub, ned kelly (search on google if you don't get it) scored a scorching frikken super goal! ok, we did play best in the 3rd half, but i love it when we score.
being part of the tired old guard, i changed with the same guy a few times on the right half. gotta get fit, gotta gotta get fit. our mission was to wear out this little punk who was their right half who was young enough to be my son.i could outrun the little shit, but only a couple of times, then i was jogging and gasping (gotta learn how to run and breath. i think i'm taking a breath and holding it!), fortunately i got my second wind by about the 3rd half and started putting it on the little shit. what i lack in skill, i make up for with unpredictability. and being a little bigger than him as well can sometimes help, but not always. i mean, he's moving all of about 50 kilos, i'm moving 84 kilos. ok, i'm not a league player, but my thighs aren't tree trunks either you know? time to hit the gym treadmill for some frikken pain and stupidity.
do you know what i want? what i really really want? i want my damn brother to start training with me. he thinks he's past it (i'm 6 years older) but all he has to do is give it a go, it'll come back. if he doesn't want to, that's cool, but just don't give me them "past it, too hard, not got it" excuses. (and i know he reads this) come on dude. just come to training, shoulda seen some of the old dude's playing tonight, just pace yourself, you can do it. you'll love it.
deep heat is your friend (you should smell it in here!). stretch lots, warm up, warm down, maybe i should start smoking? shit i'm having fun though, wouldn't be dead for quids.
the cult - she sells sanctuary (i love this song, found it, would you believe, on the grand theft auto - liberty city soundtrack) if you like it, check out the she sells sanctuary website. ok, got absolutely no idea if she likes the song or if that has anything to do with the name of her blog. i'm just bouncing to the music and i dig reading her blog.
i find if i'm listening to the song at work, it's best to use headphones, cause then i can pump it up. of course that leads to the problem of not being able to hear the phone ringing. but i don't want to answer it anyway.
an, um, interesting experience.
i was just out visiting the crematorium (errr as you do). so i'm a computer geek, even crematoriums have computers, anyway back to the story. i'm standing there stuffing around with a network lead, trying to unravel the mysteries of stupid computers that keep falling of the lan, when they wheel in a coffin and put it behind me in front of the big oven.
i don't know what to think, the guy says to me, are you ok with that? i say i'm ok. i've never thought about being in this situation before. there's some person in a box behind me that i know nothing at all about. outside people are starting to arrive for the service, this person meant something to them. a friend, relative, spouse etc...
back in the main office (the lan has magically started working by itself) one of the funeral directors is talking with the head cemetary guy about dying young vs dying old. in my office we talk about computers, or girls, or guys for that matter, or parties, or hangovers (after the parties). so i casually drop a comment to that effect, which they think is a bit of a giggle. working in their business i guess death is an everyday subject of conversation.
you know, when i got out of bed this morning, i never thought i'd be working on a computer next to a coffin.
i've just been told that seeing a coffin in a crematorium isn't that wierd, and i suppose it isn't. but i've been out there heaps of times and it's never happened to me yet. maybe that means i wander around all the time with my brain switched off and i should expect stuff like this.
Monday, February 23, 2004
yet more pain caused to people, in the name of religion, peer pressure or other crap
my rambling crap about Celestial Blue's comment on yet another bus bombing in Israel
please be patient, it's long and rambling. feel free to shoot me down, i'm ignorant, and verbal offence draws no blood. if you find this offensive, let me know. i just wanted to say what i thought and my extra long rambling crap doesn't belong in someone else's comment's box.
unfortunately what you have said in your comments is similar to what my father says: religions have caused more bloody wars than anything else in history.
(please don't take this the wrong way, although i don't have a religion, the last thing i would suggest to anyone, ever, is that they give up their religion. it's a very personal and special thing i think)
instead of worrying about keeping your faith, pity these poor, impressionable kids who commit these atrocities. their culture breeds these actions, and unfortunately, i think only the young and impressionable are carrying them out, under pressure from the older, jaded, unhappy influences.
i also think it is wrong to think that all palestinians are happy about this pain that has been caused. like anywhere in the world, there are always rational, sensible people who just want to live their lives and be happy, unfortunately there is also the unhappy people stuck in a cycle of stupidity (ok, violence, but i also think they are stupid for staying in it)
i'm searching for a link to a news article i read once, where palestinian and israeli parents met weekly for their kids to play together, in the hope that they could break the cycle and their kids would learn to accept each other. a very brave step i thought, because there is a very real potential for these kids to be hated by their own respective peoples for even trying.
there are no easy answers of course. i think i am only venting my frustrations, sorry. and if i have spoken from ignorance and managed to offend someone, please accept my apologies in advance. no offence intended. do you know, when they were considering founding israel, it was also considered at the time to locate the state of israel in western australia. despite the shallow thinking of the australians of the time, by now i think it would have been a very happy place. (and the diving would have been very nice also)
i wonder what ghandi would have done. of course it is a completely different situation. but i like the quote: "an eye for an eye only leaves the whole world blind". i wonder how we can teach this to people who's lives are rooted in violence and anger.
but i like what you have to say Hasidic Gentile "We have to carry on doing better to ourselves and each other and repair the world", i'm sorry if that is out of context.
and yeah, i'm off that high
a peace hotline people able to make this connection, during what is virtually a war. is _more_ poignant than allied and german forces playing soccer during world war 2
Sunday, February 22, 2004
a night with the kids, sunday sleep in, relaxing sunday stuff, then after they go home, surfing.
it's grot number two's turn to pick a video. the hulk. one of my favourites, i love it. so they enjoy my lousy cooking, and ice cream (probably all they liked) and got to stay up and watch the hulk and the end of mrs doubtfire.(i hate watching people embarrass themselves on telly)
sunday sleep in. how good is that. i am the first up! wow. washing dishes and brekkie and stuff. some homemade milkshakes (cause they are cheap, and i am broke, sorry kids, but who needs a 5 dollar damn milkshake anyway. next time you can have milkshakes with chokky bits and houndreds and thousands and whatever else there is)
around to my brothers for bbq lunch. kids everywhere, going ballistic. very scarey. the weather is crap, grot number 2 has embatygo (however you spell school sores) so there's no beach for us today. and the loser dad is broke so we can't entertain grot number 1 by hanging round the mall. next time we'll be in the water. doh!
anyway, it's overcast, raining and grey. no fun for the beach with kids. however after they go home, i take a brief look at the beach. 4 foot and glassy, light offshore wind. i go home and back out with my surfboard. 1 hour later, and i'm stuffed. i've just had the longest right of my life. by the time i paddle back out, the next set of waves are rolling in. ok, that's partly because it was a long ride, and partly because i'm stuffed! (poor old bugger) i can only get a few more waves. i am so stuffed. i try to stand up for a wave after not resting long enough after paddling out, fotunately, i land on my board anyway, go figure! everyone else has woken up to the surf by now, and there's guys everywhere. no sexism intended, no girls out today.
big, fat, groovy waves. i love it. why can’t all my weekends be like this? I’m gonna work on making it so.
update: just had a thought. despite the best efforts of our politicians to screw the friggen lot. this still is the lucky country. use by date: coming up soon.
ask anyone that knows me, they'll tell you. i'm not much of a cook. the kids don't mind the little bit that i can do. spaghetti. or heat a frozen pizza in the oven. but they don't like my stir fry, i think the yellow rice is a put off for them.
i have a good friend of mine who teaches me to cook occasionally. i drive up to visit her, she gets me to cook, we have a talk about our relative love lives, life, the universe and everything, play scrabble, then i drive home. she taught me to cook stir fry, so i was really impressed with myself. the next time the kids came over i cooked it for them. geeezzz, shoulda heard the whinging. we don't like that, we don't eat that, blah blah blah. i left them with my sister for 1/2 and hour and drove round to mum's and told her she finally had her revenge for me being a shit when i was little. and never eating zucchini (yuck), spinach (yuck), pumpkin (yucky yuck) or choko (bleah!!!!!!)
i think i'm more of a social cook. the only time i enjoy cooking is when i can be distracted while i'm doing it. cooking with a friend or the kids there talking to me. like when i do the ironing, it's got to be in front of the telly with something on or i won't do it. i rarely cook for myself because it is so boring. i should ask if i can have the kids more often so i'll eat healthier! cooking with a friend who knows how to cook is the most fun. because then it is a real comic production. for starters i stuff up lots, so that causes a few laughs, i have to be reminded to do stuff, told how to do things, and i make a huge mess.
social cooking, it's fun. all i need now is a wireless lan so i can post this without getting out of bed hehehehe
the movie is about three separated dads and their lives. getting the kids exchanged at mcdonalds, dating girls who find out they have kids and how they react. and this one girl, she is the funniest, played by Janeane Garofalo
one of the guys, one of the separated dads, says something like, "and when you get to see your kids, you just love them as much as you can". and that pretty much sums it up. no matter what you do wrong (and you get to stuff up heaps) as long as you love them heaps then it all comes from there. listen to them yabber on, play frisbee with them in the park, hold them when their sad, laugh when they tell stupid jokes.
tomorrow is going to be a fun day
Saturday, February 21, 2004
the plan: go for a surf, then go to my friend's house for a barbecue, then go watch another friend's band play in a pub in kiama. stay the night at my friend's house then drag myself home.
the surf was mad. 4-5 foot and i got hammered. but it was lots of fun, i only got a few waves. the wind was blowing offshore, and if you missed a wave you couldn't see for the spray. fortunately i didn't get molested by any stupid fish either. then i went to watch some of the guys surfing further up. where they were was just perfect. overhead barrells, offshore wind and breaking perfectly. it was a bit big for me though, cause i am a fraidy cat. and i wouldn't have got a wave anyway, there were about 15 guys out there all fighting for waves, every wave had 2-3 people going for it and none went unridden. i just sat on the grass on the hill and had a beer and enjoyed the spectacle.
got to the barbecue at my friend's house. we had a few beers, barbecue dinner, a few bottles of wine, played loud music in the loungeroom, and generally stuffed around having fun and kind of missed out going to the pub. oops. but it was fun. i was going to crash on the lounge but i was feeling a little under the weather so i went outside in the cool. then i woke up on the grass in their backyard at around 4:30am. it was nice and comfy and the stars were very pretty, but i thought i might sleep inside after that all the same :-)
another surf this morning, the wind is coming from the wrong direction and it's heaps smaller. i didn't think it would drop off so quickly. home to feed the feral cat cause my sister is on the boat this weekend. the little mongrel has graciously repaid me by leaving a deposit on my damn board cover. ewwwwwww ungrateful little bastard!
ok, time for more surf, i think i'll head south, there's this beach that should be just right for a southerly, as long as their is some swell. and hopefully there aren't 50 million people out there otherwise i might as well just sit on the beach cause i won't get any waves!
Friday, February 20, 2004
Thursday, February 19, 2004
it was such a cool day. i went driving all over the place, fixing computers and stuff. only one computer i was meant to replace the cpu fan, so i couldn't be bothered turning it off. and i dropped the damn screw on the motherboard. murphy's law, it died. doh!! anyway it's a stupid old computer and we have other similar ones waiting to be auctioned of. i grab one and plonk in the hard disk and they are up and running again.
i'm testing out a new acer travelmate laptop. way too small, i hate these small laptops with too small keyboards. anyway, it has a cd burner (external) so i thought i'd better test it with some moby and other groovy tracks that i can test later in my car stereo :-) (christ (that's an expleteive fish worshippers, me and the dude, we've got an understanding, ok?) hope the secret police don't find me out, here in my secret dublin hideout), ok, cool day (like opposite to shite, not opposite to hot), it's 30 ish, a lil humid, but who wants to be inside?
went to the beach after work. hehehe sucks to be me, not! ok, the surf looks like shit, but i don't care. gotta get out there and chill. i paddle out through the sets, and they get bigger and bigger. ok, it's not waimea, but 4 foot is pretty close to my limit ok? got a couple of overhead drops and was having a really groovy time. caught this one wave, ok, it closed out on me. short little right (natural footer), hit the lip, cut back, amazing, i didn't screw up, now it's closing, aim for the lip and go for some air. no worries (complete fluke!) and the wave is dredging, sand everywhere, and this damn fish sexually harrasses me!!! last time they were swimming into me side on, but NOOO! not this time, it's jumped up behind me on the back of my board between my legs, wriggling about, and i'm kicking and screaming and saying some rather unpleasant things before it finally gets off. better get a lawyer you little bastard. only i can't identify it cause i'm too busy carrying on like a whatchemacallit anyway. so i paddle out, with my knees together, feet in the air, and when i'm in clear water behind the breakers, i kinda sit waiting for that "perfect wave" so i can get my breath back and eradicate my harasser from my mind. ok, next wave is my ride to the beach, time to go and watch the soccer semi final for afternoon soccer. christ i love these 6 foot drops. the speed is really cool. (ok you buggers who can really surf, and get them 6 foot waves with 9 foot drops, or you crazy bastards who surf waimea and bells beach, go and get stuffed) :-) i stand up as long as i can, surfing the whitewater, hopeing i won't end up with those naughty fishes again!
my sister-in-law drops me off at the soccer, our guys come from behind to win. they play like shit because they have, for the second time this year, got a full team. when they have only 6 (it's 20 min halves 7 aside soccer on half sized fields) they are more serious and play better. like they will have to next week for the grand final cause one of their guys is being selfish and going to queensland for a holiday hehehe go figure.
i'm in the "other side" which is in "B" grade. ok we won the last 2 years, but i missed both grand finals due to work commitments. coincidence? hehehehe this year we have some new players, lost some old players, and i am still playing, so we don't make the top 4 and the semis. scored a few goals though, this is my highest scoring year ever. i mean, in one game i scored 2 goals. doubling both my yearly average, and yearly high score. in another game, i score 3 goals, and 2 with my left foot, i nearly faint! i've run out of fingers! (ok, it was 6 this year) but back to reality, i never score playing "real soccer". i hit the ball to their goallie a bit though :-)
we watched our girl's side play their final. they won convincingly. their keeper is a real cutie, 5'11" and she can kick the ball further than 2 of our mens keepers! she gets the shits because she never gets to score. so in the last few mins she comes up for the kickoff (they have been scored against! so she's cranky too) and off the kickoff she scores. rotten bitch! hehehehe she gets over her cranky spell and gets back in the goals real quick!
ok, in summary, more days should end at the beach. that's the best i've surfed in 15 years. by crikey, by jingo, by golly by gum, i enjoyed myself. late takeoffs really really wake you up :-) if i was a better surfer some of those waves would have been really cool. there was this lad, down from byron bay. before i went out he asked me if it was ok? i said, well it looked like shit, but i was goin out anyway. he asked where i thought was good. i said north, werri or bombo is always better. turned out both were total crap! (like, they are always, ALWAYS better, but it was as flat as! must have been a real southerly swell, like i'd know hehehehe)(it must be axiomatic, ask me, and get the, definitive, wrong answer!) there were about 30 guys out, and everyone was getting waves. i paddled out and was stuffed, so let a few go, i didn't move, but had a perfect right go past, then a perfect left. (ok not perfect, but for where i was, on a beach instead of a point, on sand.... get my drift?) fortunately this dude saw how shit it was and came back to play. but he's been spoiled. the right at byron is totally cool. (but totally packed!)
life is so cool at the moment. had a few ups and down's you know? everyone does. a few years of total crap. funerals, divorce, pain. then some cool stuff, up and down, last year had a few, the snow was grouse, but christmas sucked. now is totally cool. my weekend work is totally cool. even when i'm blown out with a cold i have awesome weekends just working my ring out and snorkelling. and when i'm healthy, 35 metre visability and still cool customers and great parties. the only downside is that i must get some sleep every day, and go to the the real job on mondays! reality is for people who ... i have no idea! who don't dive or surf or interact with fun people, have a sense of humour or interact with some really cool people.
gotta tell you, last night was a blast. i'm telling myself, get thee to bed early. (get thee to a nunnery) you are tired. at 11:30 ish i chat to this cool canadian girl, next i know it's 12:30am. but the next morning i'm not as tired as i'd expect. so cool. sleep? i'll sleep when i'm dead (bon jovi!). tomorrow night my friend's band (the stunt team) is playing to the north at kiama. never surfed there. i'm i'll crash at some friend's of mine's house, and get some waves atta new beach. i need some new thingos that you say when you are happy. blessed are the big noses!! (i use it as a forward rudder) by jing (as my grandpa used to say, he also named his dog jing, dunno what either means) well tonight is the same. been to the soccer, trolling the net, harassing my brother (cause i can) and listening to pink floyd and moby. life is cool
wouldn't be dead for quids! the only way my life could be cooler at this moment is being able to share it. significant other, grots being able to surf good enough to share (i've decided, i'm moving nearer to them, it's too hard) and, all of the above. life? bring it on!
the song which describes how i feel: pink floyd: piper at the gates of dawn
i've never managed to get the hang of thursdays. i can always tell when it's going to be a bad when there's at least 2 laptops on my desk.
tomorrow promises to be a bit of fun though, of the poke fun at yourself kind of fun. we're having hawaiian shirt day. getting hawaiian pizzas for morning tea, and hopefully going to get up to at least a little bit of mischief. there's one guy in the building who wears hawaiian shirts all the time. if i can find him tomorrow i'll get everyone to get their photo taken with him, then say we're having a lookalike competition to see who looks the most like him.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
and first day of soccer training as well. i'm gonna be sore and sorry tomorrow!
pay day also, sure it's spent already, but paying a bit more money off the debts makes me feel like i'm getting somewhere. pity i don't know where i'm getting. deeper in debt most likely. but that's my own fault for being so hopeless at managing money. got soccer rego for my daughter this week, a speeding fine (oops) due last week, but i'm waiting for the reminder. and the usual repayments for car and visa card and rent and stuff like that.
still i'm not too stressed. talking to my ex yesterday when i picked up my son for squash, she's just found out she has an ulcer. puts my problems in perspective, plus things are a bit tight, she's raising two kids, and working and got her own list of financial problems. i feel a bit guilty now. when i see her to get the kids on the weekend i'll offer to pick up a few more kid related expenses i think. expensive little grots :-)
well i survived soccer training. with hindsight warming up by going for a surf probably wasn't the brightest idea. we have a trial game next week. against the local rep side. then we will really be sore. still, i managed to train without damaging anything, which is a good start. unfortunately i am the oldest bugger there. so i'm going to be struggling all year to keep up, it's a good excuse being the oldest, but last year was better because i had someone older, also unfit, to look up to :-)
but that's ok, no point getting old if you don't get cunning. after a while, if i mysteriously feel one of my leg muscles tightening up it's perfectly valid for me to finish early, and sneak up the pub hehehehe usually the hamstring. i call it my pub hammie. as i'm getting tired during the fitness training the old "pub hammie" tightens up and i'm outta there.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
but anyway, i'm connected, now just gotta fix my computer up a bit and get rid of the bits that it needs for the firewall at work. so i'm sure i'll be turning up at work bleary eyed a few times this week now that i have decent access at home again. although maybe they won't be able to tell the difference hehehehe been a few late nights these last few weeks.
i can't play on it tonight though, travelling to visit a friend of mine before she goes overseas. she's going to sweden or switzerland or some country in europe that starts with an "s" to visit her boyfriend. she met him while he was travelling over here, and now she wants to see if it'll all "work out". so she's as jumpy as a cat on a hot tin roof, she flies out on thursday and has been going crazy with all the last second things she has to do. (like get her passport!)
Monday, February 16, 2004
different people, with different cultures and different ideas. one of the things i love about my culture in australia, is our easy acceptance of other cultures. sure, we take the piss out of them and criticize them etc... but we criticize ourselves and take the piss out of ourselves just as easily. frankly, if you are a member of a minority group, if a "genuine aussie" (hah! we are everyone anyway) makes fun of you or something you are doing, that is less of a criticism, and more of an acceptance. (take this with a grain of salt, we've got a lot of dickheads too, with shallow minds and caveman ideals). anyway, it's like the whole bastard thing. you can call your mate a bastard, and it's a term of affection, but with a different tone of voice you can call an enemy a bastard, and its not a nice thing. but i digress....
one of the things my parents taught me, that stuck, is that people are people :-) i've only travelled a little bit but the more i travel, the more i find that people are just the same wherever you go. they might speak a different language but they are very similar.
a traveller (hamish) is walking along a road from town aardvark to town beauford, he meets a traveller coming the other way. this traveller asks him what the people were like in the town he had just come from. hamish says to him, what were they like the last town you were in? if they were friendly and happy, then the next town will be the same, if they were grumpy and unfriendly then the next town will be the same.
of course this isn't perfect, but i've found it pretty close to the truth. i went to turkey 2 years ago for a holiday. my travel agent made me a little nervous when she said that she'd booked me on turkish air, and they'd probably be ok but they were so much cheaper etc.... but the way she said it made me think i was flying "white knuckle airlines". I've flown with british airways, qantas, lauda air (very cool) and others. when i got to thailand on the way to istanbul, qantas landed with a bit of a bump, the next 6 flights were with turkish air. sure, it's like an old school bus, no lcd video screens on the back of the seats, but they were smoother flyers, friendlier staff (ok, british air and the others were pretty damn good too) and get this. the first time we land at istanbul, every passenger (maybe the crew too) claps. i'm like "shit!" we're lucky we landed?? but every flight, they all clap when they land.
i've only travelled a little bit. been to the solomon islands (very cool), vanuatu, new caledonia, the uk and turkey. the turkish people i met were the friendliest people i have ever met, anywhere, ever. sure, their people on the street were annoying and pushy, but once you said "NO" and then said, where's the whatchamacallit? they'd be happy and friendly, and if you didn't understand the directions, they'd take you there. happy, honest, trusting, friendly lovely people. i was kind of riding on a high after being there, the next place i went was the uk, they were ok, but not the same level you know?
ok, back to the point, different people, different cultures. interesting to meet, and learn and experience. my first experience with a foreign blogger was Salam Pax, an iraqi blogger. getting someone else's point of view for the iraqi situation was very enlightening, unlike listening to my dad who just wants to nuke everyone! bleah!!!! this guy says some interesting things, and the last post i read, was pretty much how i saw it and argued with it against my dad. read relevant post here
the maddest (mad as in off the wall and unexpected, as opposed to cranky) experience was gallipoli. ok, i'm in turkey, not meeting with my russian friend for another 2 days, lets do the gallipoli tour. the gallipoli experience is taught to kids in australia from an early age, the pommy bastards who put us in the wrong place and treated us like cannon fodder, us, the superhuman aussies who did good stuff and were really sneaky etc... OK, it's history now, we'll never know the full truth, but having been there and listened to the grandson of one of the turkish defenders, my perspective is forever changed. i won't spoil it completely though. if you want to know, if you really really want to know, go to turkey and do the tour, ask for "uncle ali", to be sure i'll be sending my kids to see him. sitting under the tree near the beach at gallipoli, listining to "uncle ali", there wasn't a dry eye in the place. to be perfectly honest, after listening to his account, i'm amazed that turks want anything to do with us, but the reality is that they love aussies. except for the drunken dickeads who spoil it for everyone on anzac day of course. it just blows my mind. we were the invaders. the most successful fighters, who nearly won it for us, were the kiwis (new zealanders in case you don't know), and the poms (there were some canadians there too) lost more soldiers than all of us........except for the turks who lost more than all the rest put together. hah, and get this, i'm in istanbul, a few grillion miles from home, jump on a bus to gelibolu (or however they spell it) there's a girl on there who looks familiar, she's the daughter of a guy i know from work. i've seen her before when she was little.
do you know the worst thing? after rambling all this rubbish, i've forgotten what my point was, i've had to stop a few times to remember what my next bit was gonna be, and now i've forgotten the lot. so i'll make a new point. travel to turkey, be friendly and happy and relaxed. you'll love it. take the gallipoli tour if your aussie, kiwi, canuck (sorry if thats the wrong thing for a canadian) or a pom. sit under the whatever-the-frikken-tree-was tree near the beach on gelibolu and cry your eyes out like we did. read Ataturks message (finally found it, this is the, errrr, plaque i guess, near the beach. i'm 6 foot 3 and my shoulder comes up to the bottom) to the mothers of the lost sons from all over. you will learn a few things about how cool the turks are. it makes me cry even now. I know nothing about the man or what he really did. but his message speaks across the generations like no other. i really shouldn't read it while listing to "kevin johnson - over the hills and far away". i'm crying like an idiot :-( uncle ali gave us all an anzac bullet and turkish grenade fragment, or maybe it was a turkish bullet and an anzac grenade bit, i gave mine to my grandma. two of her uncles were there, one of them ended up with a steel plate in his head. "johnnies" are the turks, johnnie turk. dunno what "mehmet" means, but that's us. probably means dopey english speaking buggers who won't piss off when they're not wanted! hehehe (no offense intended.... really really!) go to turkey, those turkish people are really cool.
another example. a couple of aussie lads i met up with, we decided to go shopping. we've bought fez's each and some cool turkish shirts, and worn them back to where we were staying. here in australia i'm sure someone unhappy prick would have thought we were taking the piss and got the shits, but not there, they were laughing and pointing and if they were close by they'd say hello and how cool etc... it was just the coolest vibe (and no, not like laughing and pointing and saying "look at them dumb idiots", well maybe not hehehehe)
but i will try and leave you with a cool thought, if anyone (not likely) has made it this far through my rambling crap. when i first saw the inscription, i tried to be strong etc... (fail!!) some guy nearby is selling shirts with the inscription on the back, ok gotta have on.
after the whole talk thingy, we have time out, the beach is smooth pebbles. myself and this beautiful black canadian girl have both thought the same thing at the same time. shoes off, we are wading in the water, then we look back over the land, the scars are still on the hills. the landscape is so beautiful, the beach, magic. overwhelming.
i'm going to have to make a serious effort to get organised this week. i've been working on the boat the last 4 weekends and i've let all my washing and ironing and tidying back up. fortunately i don't have to do it today :-) i promised the kids i'd take them to the beach this afternoon so that's my ready made excuse for today. tomorrow i play squash with my son, wednesday is soccer training, thursday we are watching a soccer grand final. gee this is great, excuses for almost the whole week hehehe
i could do with a few hours sleep too... doh! oh well, people are screaming, i'd better do some work
Sunday, February 15, 2004
we had a new group of people this weekend, which is a little unusual. but there were still some familiar faces. it turned out they were from Port Stephens, and we've been up there diving a few times in the past. so it was like, totally cool, to be able to showcase our local diving attractions to them. (sorry, been reading John Howards Blog so i apologise if i, like, sound like him!)
Friday night we motored back to our mooring and spent a few hours telling tall stories and getting to know each other. Mucho fun.
Saturday we are doing the normal routine, so no need to relate, but one thing stuck out. Between the first diver getting in, and the last, about 10 minutes. That has to be an absolute record, especially for 20 divers, I've seen 15 divers stuff around so much that the first diver had finished the dive and was getting out when the last diver was about to get in! These guys were really cool. Plus, no pretensions. They knew what they knew and what they didn't. Totally relaxed and didn't bignote themselves and pretend to be better than they were, which, ironically, makes them pretty damn good. And they were all out of the water within about 10-15 mins of each other. How good is that? we were so totally spoiled with this group.
It's hot, hot and wet. Like (ok stole it from a movie: Good Morning Vietnam) it's hot and wet. It's nice if you're with a lady, but it ain't no good in the jungle. I'm sweating like a, um, something that sweats a lot. I jump on the scooter and go for a snorkle. The boss yells out, Dolphins!!! i look up and they are swimming past a group of our divers, who are snorkelling at the surface. I zoom over there as quick as i can but they are already gone. Perhaps they don't like the sound of the electric motor of the scooter.
Later this evening, while we are waiting for night divers to return, we have the fish under the light at the back of the boat. Snake eels, we think they are newly born. We catch one in a bucket for a photo. they are so cool. Squid, fishes, snake eels, swimming crabs. it's all happening on the back deck tonight.
unfortunately i am the last crew member awake, so that means i have to stay up until all the customers go to bed. hmmmm port, this is gonna hurt tomorrow!
and i am right, at 5:30 the alarm goes off. the cook is going diving. fortunately (for my headache) i haven't brought my dive gear this weekend as i'm suffereing from the after effects of a cold. (but right now, snorkelling down a few metres no probs). she goes diving with one of the bosses, i thankfully go back to sleep. i'm a walking zombie until we get them all in the water i get some time out. later in the day we are all feeling the heat and we are diving into the water from the top deck. aaaaah much better.
this group is so cool. we are going up to port stephens (with the dive club) next month. can't wait. gonna catch up with them and cause a few hangovers myself! Plus diving at Port Stephens is totally cool. they have some cool wrecks, sponge gardens and enough to keep anyone satisfied.
At the end of the weekend, i am totally stuffed. but i'm still high. these guys are so good. no pretensions, relaxed, can laugh at themselves as well as laugh at us. i know why i love this game so much.
Friday, February 13, 2004
a coke and a red bull and another coke and i'm flying. our stupid mailserver ran out of space this morning and our internet connection was crawling. i fixed the mailserver and the internet seems to have fixed itself. i wonder which one caused which to stuffup first. but when our net connection slowed to a crawl our mailserver started trying to resend all the messages that couldn't get through the first time, over and over again. reading the log files is making my eyes go funny (nothing to do with the caffeine hehehehe although my hands are shaking a bit and i'm going jittery :-) )
something kooky always happens to me on friday 13th and i'm waiting to see what else goes wrong.
i'm on the boat tonight so i'll probably fall in while trying to unload the tender or something stupid like that. it's only a matter of time until it happens anyway. i've had a few near misses and last weekend i tried to jump into the middle of the boat and was lucky to land on the side. so i pretended i meant it and kept on going.
the forecast is crap but i don't care. the sun is out now and i'm chirpy (probably gibbering from caffeine overload). it can rain all weekend for all i care, it doesn't make any difference to me really, the water is warm and clear and i'm usually wet all weekend anyway.
yesterday was a, errr, less than pleasant day, but after work i went for a surf instead of about 3 things i should have been doing. it was great. shirking my responsibilities can be fun, at least until they catch up again, so i'll be a busy little nutcase this arvo.
hope everyone's weekend is pleasant/exciting/challenging/relaxing/fun (pick any 2 you like) and you are recharged and firing for monday.
oh yeah, and happy valentines day for tomorrow!!
just got a msg from my sister in law. my brother's birthday is tomorrow (and i still have no idea what to get him!)
"having a big drinking night tonight for birthday anytime tonight. cards tequila sambucca ps2 eye toy. adults party no kids"
bugger, and i'm working tonight/this weekend! there's gonna be a few sore heads tomorrow hehehehehe
Thursday, February 12, 2004
i have a list of about 40 things that i have to fix to make it all pretty and neat and lovely to hand in. which i suppose is a blessing in itself, because i haven't a clue how to make things more presentable without help. so now i'm cutting and pasting location maps, and "how to get there" maps, and having a really lousy time. i'm probably going to print them out and attack them with a highlighter anyway, so they'll still look like crap. bleah.
ok, enough whinging and feeling sorry for myself, time to finish it off.
oh great, now our dopey deskjet printer has gone haywire. i don't need this today, i've got a cold and i'm feeling down, sulk sulk, moan moan. i need more caffeine, time for a can of coke.
good thing i work with a good group of people (yeah i'm doing this at work, but at least i'm doing it in my lunch break) or this would be unbearable.
2 hours to go then i go home. if i'm really naughty and finish this during work time i can go for a surf :-)
extreme littering, you've probably heard about the amount of litter on mount everest. which, according to various sources, is over 50 tonnes and includes discarded equipment, spoiled food, human waste and bodies. i wonder how much litter/space junk is left on the moon from the yanks and the russians. ok, so i was bored and browsing the net while i was meant to be doing something else, and found something on slashdot about the soviet rovers and between the two countries there must be dozens of rockets and landers and stuff that landed or crashed into it. anyway it was fun browsing the links and seeing some of the stuff they sent up. some of them look like deranged kitchen appliances.
ok i've wasted enough time. back to it.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
there are thousands of screaming people on there as well. that's a thought, maybe they are screaming because they can't get out? i think she's watching it with a kind of fascination to see how bad it can really be. personally i can't stand watching anyone embarrass themselves on telly. even in a movie, if i've seen it before i'll walk out until the offending scene is gone. (my rotten brother knows this and will pause it until i get back) perhaps i associate too much with people making fools of themselves. bleah
what i really need is a Man Shandy, i'm trying to compose an "about" section. one of my readers (woohoo, got 2 readers now! and neither is my mum!) errrr, "suggested" i should have an about section. he also said i should have a "revised standfirst" but i dunno what that is. only under the relaxing influence of a little amber fluid do i tend to write anything that i like.
is someone counted as a reader if they just keep looking at your page occasionally to see if you stop babbling bullshit and actually write something interesting?
Sunday, February 08, 2004
up at sparrow's fart so i can get on the boat to help get breakfast ready. seems like a pretty good group this weekend. happy friendly people with a sense of humour! always a good combination. the conditions were really good also. 20 degree water (celcius), visibility around 30 metres. it looked very blue and inviting.unfortunately no diving for me though as i've got a cold and am all blocked up. but when they go for the second dive i jump in and go for a snorkle. some others on the boat who didn't dive the second dive thought i knew what i was doing (hah!) and followed me. fish everywhere, garfish, mado, sweep, gropers, chromas, blackfish. unfortunately being all blocked up i couldn't snorkle down very far. my ears screamed at me as i couldn't clear them, and if i managed to clear them a bit, when i got back to the surface the took ages to pop again.
but it was so great. temperate water diving is the best (well except for wreck diving!). i took the underwater scooter and snorkelled all over the place. this really cute girl on the boat who couldn't dive this weekend was snorkelling with me. she was holding onto my fins as we zoomed all over the place. (note to self: girles snorkelling in bikinis are the best!)
divers in, divers out, fill tanks, divers in, divers out, fill tanks, serve lunch, wash dishes, siesta. i am stuffed. divers in, divers out, fill tanks, dinner. night dive. they have a blast. they come back with really cool stories. some of them have seen a grey nurse shark, others have seen a large wobbegong. big rays, exotic fishies. they are high on life and i'm loving it. fill some tanks and wash some dishes. party time! we leave a big light on at the back of the boat and see what cool things come to the back of the boat. fish, squid, penguins. sometimes boring, usually interesting.
i've managed to (again) damage myself. one of the delightful ladies on board is doing fingertip chinups. so i try to get her to do 3 and then 2 finger (on each hand) chinups. and then i do a 2 finger chinup without warming up. doh! i should have more sense. one day.
the navy is around tonight as well. a few kiwi ships and 4 of ours, plus some submarines. one submarine is smoking heaps, i wonder if they've put too much oil in the fuel for the outboard :-) i've never seen a submarine here before (only on the telly) and i want them to do cool stuff, like submerge and then come up really fast and make like a whale breaching. but they are boring. the other ships all put their lights on, we figure the population of the area has probably doubled. there are so many lights from these boats, it's like a city on the water. little liberty boats zooming all over the place, no doubt taking sailors to the pub/mess/whatever at the nearby naval base. the submarines park, or maybe anchor, i don't know. perhaps they have to have an anchor (and have life jackets and an oar and a bucket to bail in case they get inspected by the msb hehehehe). anyway, the submarines park a long way away from all the other ships. perhaps they smell :-D anyway in the morning one of them has disappeared. i wonder it submerged and snuck out, or just motored out on the surface while we were all to drunk to know.
we play a board game called "big brother". apparently it's nothing like the telly show, which i haven't seen anyway, but we have a great time and go to bed at 2:00am. some wicked sense of humour in this group!
sunday morning sees me a lot brighter than i would expect. but my energizer batteries quickly run down and i want a nap! we take the divers to a couple of cool locations for diving. moe's reef is a very cool divesite. they are all very happy. ones with digital cameras have them hooked up to the telly so they can show everyone else their happy snaps and the cool stuff they have seen. again we jump in for a snorkel. my ears are nearly better, i can get to around 10-12 metres before it gets a bit difficult. it's a bit barren where we are though, so we get out after a while. again this cute chicky wants to get my scooter taxi service. i'm grinning like an idiot! i have to stop grinning so much. last time one of the bosses said he'd charge me for coming on instead of paying me! and i thought scuba diving was a predominately male sport. well it is, but i'd like to work to change that hehehehe
the water is so clear, i'm diving through all these bubbles from the divers below. they tickle my skin as i dive down through them. i can't see where i'm going, but when i need to breathe it's easy enough to scooter to the surface for a rest.
back on the boat one of the customers, who is built like a brick shithouse, is impressing the girls with his chinup prowess. doing chinups with his legs horizontal in front of him. ok, he can't do a 2 finger chinup, but i can't do that many chinups with my feet like that! so i'm back in my place hehehe, probably good for me, not good to have an inflated impression of myself after beating some other poor schmuck in a chinup competition another time. i can maybe to about 20 chinups, this guy did 15 or so holding his legs up. anyway, harmless showing off, the girls pretend to be suitably impressed and we carry on. i nurse my pride by saying how much older than him i am, and i don't work out that much, and i don't really care anyway. (how transparent is that hehehe)
this group is the coolest. they are easily in the "top 10" for the groups we get. so easy going and fun loving. they love to do fun stuff. lots of groups pike out and don't do the night dive, but we had 8 of them go night diving on the saturday. if you live in sydney and want to go diving with a cool group of people, make sure you check out diver city. But if i'm going to plug a dive group i really have to make sure i also plug Dive 2000 because they are the coolest (and also number 1 in the top 10, they know how to party and are funloving crazy people as well). Kevin Deacon, apart from being one of Australias leading underwater photographers, runs a very fun and happening dive shop, offering trips in Australia and overseas as well as speciality courses etc.. yadda yadda yadda. If you want to do a photography course, go and see Kevin. if you want to travel and do some cool diving, either of these wonderful group of people (don't play favourites, go with both!) can open up a new and wonderful world for you.
it's such a shame that the weekend must end, we pack up, wash up, ferry everyone to shore and let everyone go and head home. usually by the end of the weekend i'm quite looking forward to going home and resting. but this weekend was such a blast i want it to go on and on. on friday when i was really under the weather with this cold, i wasn't very keen at all to be onboard. but today, i am still riding the crest of the wave. tomorrow i will come crashing back to earth when "real job that pays the bills" is on again. the "team dynamics" will never be quite the same again. every time is different. different people, different influences, but if we can again awaken the party and have fun forces in these crazy people we'll be partying until we are dead :-)
ok, in some respects my life is like a train wreck, debris everywere. but weekends like this, i don't care. go with the flow, crazy people and lotsa fun. bring it on.
Friday, February 06, 2004
although i'm wagging today. i've got a cold and don't feel like work. my doctor always recommends i gargle salt water when i'm getting a cold. so when i finally drag myself out of bed, i head to the beach. it's a lovely sunny day, the water is warm etc etc... but there's no swell. crap. i mean a kid on an esky lid couldn't get a wave, it's that small. damn. still it's better than being at work feeling sick and sorry for myself.
so i'm standing on the beach, working out what to do with myself, and a school of about 50 dolphins goes past. milling about, and generally mucking about in the water. i hope they eat that school of fish that scared the crap out of me the other day. hopefully that means we'll see some more dolphins on the boat this weekend.
rats, now i have to go and do something productive. maybe i should just have a nap and think about it.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
check these cubans: (gotta admire their style)
Cubans defect in floating car
i wonder if this is going to end up like those birdman rallies we used to see on telly. with all sorts of strange flying contraptions attempting to make the distance, but mostly people trying to go for the laugh factor and turn up with the craziest looking contraptions. actually it kind of reminds me of the movie "Born in East LA".
who's going to the annual regatta in Alice Springs this year? book early to avoid the rush! Henley-on-Todd
ok, so i haven't got anything interesting to say, but i feel compelled to write something, so i'm regurgitating other people's news.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
ok, the story i was going to tell. a weekend (a long weekend, like 3 days) working on the diveboat. when my friend (now boss) described the job to me she said it was a deckhand/tart. the job involves, among other things, being the deckhand and sleazing with the customers. ok, i'm still a junior tart but the other deckies have me in training.
a weekend in the life of a deckhand/tart on a diveboat. (or as one of the other deckies describes us, greasers. we put the sunblock on the customers :-) ) wax on, wax off
get onboard by about 7:00pm. we get on from a very crappy boatramp, which is just a road down to some rocks which slope gently in the water. we load all our bags, booze, and scuba gear for the weekend into the duck and go out to the boat and load it up. we spend the next hour and a half vacuuming, washing windows, cleaning walls, getting nibblies ready and generally getting everything set for the customers to come on.
at about 8:30 we head to a mooring closer to where the customers are, then send in the boss and the duck to pick them and their gear up from the wharf, spend the next 2 hours unloading the duck of scuba gear, bags, booze and customers. trying not to fall in or damage ourselves. in between waiting for the duck to come back with another load we generally annoy the hell out of the customers, and play a game which we call "pegging". it's pretty simple really. you get a heap of bright coloured clothes pegs and try and put them on people's clothes without them seeing. pretty childish really but it's worth a laugh. soon enough the customers catch on and try and peg us back and we get them to try and get each other as well. (i have no idea why it is called a duck. picture a zodiac, only it's all aluminium)
when everyone is onboard we head either back to our mooring or to somewhere sheltered from the wind for the night. last weekend was pretty good, as we motored back we had some dolphins surfing in the bow wave. due to the bio-luminesence in the water they looked to be glowing green in the black water. very cool.
back at the mooring we give everyone the safetly spiel and general directions of what's happening for the rest of the weekend, and have a few quiet drinkies. (followed by a few loud drinkies depending on the party enthusiasm of the customers, this weekend was fairly quiet. in bed by 1:00am)
wake up with a hangover and drag myself out of bed at around 7:00, we go down to the galley, set the tables for breakfast, boil the jug and get everything ready. at 8:00 the boss fires up the main, noisy generator, we turn up the stereo and the customers (a few of them are also hungover) start appearing out of their cabins and the day begins.
after breakfast we clear up as the boat starts motoring out, and we see where the best diving will be for the day. we are in luck, the seas are relatively calm and the wind is non-existent. we have 20 degree (celcius) water and about 30 metre visibiltiy at least. after all the customers finish their dive and are out of the water and i've finished filling their tanks for the second dive i jump in myself. i find a tiny "upside-down pipefish", although i didn't know what it was at the time, had to ask one of the bosses. she didn't understand so i gave her directions and she found it herself.
fill more scuba tanks, help customers and cameras out of the water, then get lunch happening. the cook has everything under control, tacos, hmmmmm. we just have to set the tables and serve the food. then wash up and clean up. time for a siesta while we move to another location.
then it's the same again as in the morning, get divers in, count them back out. (very important, count them back out. otherwise we'll end up with a bad reputation like queensland for leaving divers behind. bad juju). we have to count them 3 times, just to be certain we don't leave anyone behind. fortunately we haven't done it yet although a couple of other operators in the area have slipped up once or twice. fortunately the divers were rescued by another operator!
then after dinner some enthusiastic souls get in for the night dive. they are all fairly impressed with themselves afterwards, i fill some tanks, help with the washing up, have a few drinks and install another hangover.
woops, another hangover. doh! vodka is bad. we played this game called "crew behaving badly". basically we all get shots of vodka, a slice of orange, and coat one side of the orange with sugar, the other side with percolator coffee. eat the orange and drink the vodka, or drink the vodka and eat the orange, on the third time around we drink half the vodka, eat the orange, then drink the rest.
normal routine, get brekkie ready, wake up the customers this time with our sunday morning music on the stereo, tchaikovsky's something or other, well one piece anyway then we go back to whatever else we can find.
brekkie, fill some left over tanks, then get them in the water, get them out, (count not once nor twice, but thou shalt count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached...... sorry) fill tanks and beat them back in so I can dive on a wreck that is here. we find a conga eel that friends of mine have seen while diving here for over 15 years, a mosaic moray eel as well. my buddy gets some great pictures of it. schools of fish everywhere and the water is so clear you can see this huge school of pomfreds (little red fish) like a huge curtain of fish, flashing as they all turn together, especially as I shine my torch on them. we can see the full length of the wreck, which is over 30 metres.
doing my safety stop at 5 metres in the clear blue water, there are curtains of bubbles rising on all sides from the divers below. a magic experience. i don't want to get out. everyone else dives on their dive tables (well really they use dive computers) but I am restrained by the "cooking tables". when the cook has to get out to get the food ready, or i have to be out to start filling tanks, that's when we get out.
back on the boat and start filling tanks again and getting ready for lunch.
we've moved again and after finishing all the chores it's siesta time. then I get to go for a dive as long as i'm back in time to help for dinner (woops, a little late hehehehe). i spend most of the dive just laying on the bottom, watching fish digging in the sand for food, "one spot chromas" chasing intruders away and generally fish going everywhere. lots of silver coloured fish of all types, bream, southern goatfish, blue morwong and luderick all feeding in the sand. rays settling in the sand for the night, one little bream annoying a ray that's trying to be inconspicious. he pecks at the sand right next to a little stingaree, for some food, then when the ray starts behaving unsettled he circles round until it settles down, then annoys it again. after about 10 minutes the status quo hasn't changed (except for my giggling) so i go to find something else to amuse myself with. due to my excellent navigation i manage to lose the boat. it turns out i swam straight past it (again doh!).
after dinner we send off our intrepid night divers while we wash up, serve dessert when they get back and watch a slide presentation by one of the top underwater photographers in australia.
good thing this is a long weekend, because i've installed another hangover and don't feel like "real work" tomorrow
normal routine, brekkie, clean up and get divers into the water. this is a pretty good group. they are all in the water around the same time. i've seen it when divers are still getting into the water when other divers are getting out. it makes it difficult when you have to fill their tanks and move to a new location for another dive etc... before lunch. but there's no point complaining or hassling them to get ready faster. hurrying them up just makes them forget stuff or stuff up and go slower in the long run. after lunch it's time to offload everyone, strip the beds, tidy up and go home and pass out!
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
they should probably have an inquiry (enquiry take your pick) into the worth of having said inquiry, versus the square miles of forest that have to be made into paper for the frikken thing. christ, they probably have to burn down a couple of hectacres just to print the money they'll need to pay for it!
Monday, February 02, 2004
gotta hate mondays. today is the exception however, cause I took the day off, dragged myself out of bed late and went to the beach for a surf. I planned heaps of productive stuff to do during the day, finish an assignment, tidy my room and the computer room... but fortunately didn't do any of it. Watched a cool lightning storm at the beach, went for another surf, lazy lazy day.
i think the best use of a monday is to avoid work at all costs. don't even go there. i wonder if i can manage this again next week.