Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sadder Day

And so, my final post from vacation, from Bonaire.

Despite my late-vacation misgivings, I had a good time for two weeks and I am happy I did this. I'll rationalize my upset as being over my self-indulgence, said indulgence necessary in a time when my mom is heading towards the grave, my job heading towards a car crash, and my mind heading towards, well, who knows?

I worked a lot on my photography and videography, so that's a very good thing. I documented the reefs and will submit a slideshow to the various organizations that I communicate with. I found out the lionfish were a worse problem than I imagined, but not as bad as I feared, and might even have cooked up some strategies for how to deal with it, because clearly what the STINAAPA have on the table, voluntary clean up, simply isn't working.

One idea is to promote a course that trains more eyes and spears in what to look for, expert divers who could be trusted to be careful on the reef while hunting the little buggers. The impression I get is the lionfish has sort of worked out the schedule and by Friday night, goes hiding.

Remember the tool-using wrasse? The clockwork efficiency of the tarpon? There's no reason to believe that a lionfish cannot count sunrises and sunsets. It's very existence depends on it.

I got a tan. Now that might not be the positive I make it out to be, what with my history (and guaranteed future) of skin cancer, but at least I managed not to get sunburned, and I look a damn sight more natural tanned in January than John Boehner looks tanned in August!

I worked on driving a stick shift. For a city boy who drives automatics all year long, that's no small accomplishment. A stick in city traffic, well, you might as well try driving a lollipop.

Mostly, I got to see old friends and become better acquainted with newer ones (one of our group dived the Titanic, which I did not know).

I missed three snowstorms up north that would have taken their toll on me. I'm flying back into the coldest weather of the winter, however, so don't envy me too much. I had to scramble to find something that passes as a sweatshirt down here to bolster my polar fleece jacket.

And I will miss Bonaire, my lovely little island. Te aworo, mi dushi! Te aworo.