pale beneath the blue

Road stories and more from singer/songwriter, pale beneath the blue.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Barbara Manatee....

So, I did it. I'm SCUBA certified. Now Patrice and I can play shows underwater, well, I guess the keyboard isn't really good in water. Anyway, had a great time in Florida, got to visit some family and friends, meet lots of cool new folks, as well as see lots of cool things.

Day 1 was spent snorkeling with some very tired
Manatee--every once in a while they would come up for air and want a belly scratch--that was pretty cool. Then we saw this huge Tarpin which was at least as big as me. That was pretty freaky.
Day 2 we had to spend part of the day doing skills for our open water test. We headed to
Devils Den, a sink hole filled with gigantic catfish. Kinda creepy, but the water was so clear, it was like being in a clean fish tank.
Day 3 took us just down the road to
Blue Grotto. It was a weird underground cavern kind of thing. We had to finish up our skills test and then we could explore. James and I went over to this air bell. It's underneath a ledge about 30 feet down. We took out our regulators and had a nice conversation for a few minutes and then went down to 50 feet before we got bored and decided to head back up.
Day 4. Some folks decided to head back out to find Manatee so we got up early and went along. We only saw one and it was in the sanctuary sleeping. The bigger dive of the day was at Rainbow River where we saw lots of grass and some bubbling sand, normal river fish--bass, blue gill, trout. Some folks saw turtles and went into a cave, but I just saw a lot of underwater grass. That night we did a night dive into Catfish Hole off the boat dock at Crystal River at the hotel where we stayed. That was pretty cool. You couldn't see anything until you dropped into this hole and then it was crystal clear again. I guess that there were some big catfish but I didn't really look that hard. Still it was pretty cool.
Day 5. I couldn't sleep so I got up to go look for more Manatee, but I was too cold to actually put on my wetsuit. I saw a ton from the boat but I was tired and tired of being wet and just couldn't bring myself to do it. Wish I could have--all the swimming was great exercise for my leg and I'm back to not needing my crutches. I'm in much better shape now but don't know if I can keep it up in this cold Ohio weather.
The flight home proved to be quite interesting as well. I watched the sun set from 34,000 feet. At times just an eerie red glow below us, at others it was like a volcano had erupted in the sky. The beams of yellow, red and orange looked like hot, molten lava flowing out of the sky with the now darkened clouds resembling ash and soot. It was breathtaking. As it got darker, it also got clearer and the lights below were visible. It was really pretty but I realized something: We use a lot of electricity. My goodness. I can't imagine what it looks like at Christmas!

So, what have you guys been up to?


  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This always sounds like something I'd like to do sometime. I'll have to take the Latch Key kid perspective this time 'round and live vicariously through your experience and watch more deep sea exploration on PBS.

    Best Wishes,

  • At 5:14 PM, Blogger pale beneath the blue said…

    You would love it. Go take the class. It's an expensive sport, but it's definately interesting.

  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You sent me off on a tangent thinking about performing underwater, here's some advantages I thought up.

    The top ten reason's why you should perform under water:

    10. Sponge Bob can finally attend a performance.

    9. All songs become naturally Adagio.

    8. Gives "Theater in the Round" a whole new dimension.

    7. You can play as loud as you want without needing earplugs.

    6. No longer have any problems with hot stage lights.

    5. Much easier to play keyboard upside down and finally show up Jerry Lee Lewis.

    4. Playing near underwater active volcano beats the hell out of the stage Pyrotechnics supplied for the Great White Concert.

    3. Music waves emanating from performance actually saves an entire population of Dolphins and Wales by countering the confusing sonar transmitted by passing navy ships and actually getting numerous Pods back on their natural migration route.

    2. Plenty of Puffer and Blowfish to handle the horn section

    1. You always play in the key of "Sea" :-/

    Best Wishes,

  • At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another side thought: I noticed the Google ads on the right side bar where all about Manatee tours.

    Love that finely-tuned micro marketing :-
    Best Wishes,

  • At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Errata: Sorry 'bout the Whale typo on number 3 above. I think we all know I ment Cetacean! and not any of a number of strakes usually of extra thick and strong planks in the sides of a wooden ship.


  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger pale beneath the blue said…


    You are funny. I have to say--you have more useless information in your head than I do. Have you considered doing the game show thing?



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