Alberto in his clapped out Chevy (Day 215)
We took the boat today with Torre, Mona and five New Zealanders, only one of which was diving, the rest snorkelling. The girl from NZ, Angie, who’d only dived eight times before, was my buddy and was a natural. We spotted a turtle but that was about it. When we surfaced, the boat was being towed, and a guilty looking Alberto mentioned that we were having a few electrical problems.
On the second dive I did my first ever dive briefing for the group. I forgot a whole bunch of points and ended up repeating most of it again but no-one seemed to mind. When we got in the water all we could see was a sandy bottom with a few isolated pieces of coral. We’d apparently found Paradise Reef, but there wasn’t much to it. I desperately wanted to see the eagle ray again, just to have something to remember my first dive master dive, but alas, nothing more than a stingray, moray eel and a big crab.
I went to dinner with the Norwegians and New Zealanders. It was good, but mostly involved laughing about Alberto and his slack organisational skills, his changing of plans at the last minute, his pricing structure, and his boat.
The boat is not much better than the clapped-out Chevy and is actually the slowest boat I’ve seen while here. It’s the only boat to have an old two-stroke Johnson outboard motor, every other boat in the marina has shiny, new Yamaha engines. It’s also the only boat in the marina that goes through two large plastic containers of fuel and oil mixture every day, most of it being spewed out as exhaust fumes.
I passed the circus on the walk home again. The camels were still lying in their own shit and the donkeys were still looking bored. I spotted the midget (it’s actually quite difficult to spot a midget in the dark) leaning nonchalantly against the ropes of the big top tent, dimly illuminated by the flashing incandescent lights circling the “Circo” sign. He was smoking a cigarette. I gave him a wave, not thinking he’s seen me as I pass, but he has and he gives me a wave back.