Friday, July 28, 2006

Here's a photo that I was too embarrassed to post yesterday. The car is fixed now so I'm willing to put it up.

I may be flammable right now because I just soaked myself in gasoline while repairing the damaged fuel line on the car. It's a bit of a hokey repair but I think that's o-kay, it matches the rest of the car. Anyway, it will work. I feel better now that I've cleaned up my mess. The parts cost me a whole 300 francs but don't worry, that's only about 3 dollars.

This morning I went out diving with someone from the Gump station. We caught and clipped seven fish. It was a bit of a challenge today because the wind was blowing really hard. It made dealing with the boat difficult. On the way over to Gump, I have to navigate some very narrow channels through the coral. It was choppy and the wind kept trying to blow me off course and out of the channel.

When we finally found our dive site we threw the anchor in and got in the water. It was then that I noticed the anchor dragging so I had to get back in the boat and let out more anchor line. It also doesn't help that the anchor is broken and won't hold in the sand the way it's supposed to. Russ, the head guy at Gump happened to be out there too and noticed that the anchor had slipped so he wrapped out anchor chain around a rock. That's a bit embarrassing but I'm still not sure if our boat slipped more after I let out more scope or if he just saw the sand tracks where the anchor had slipped before.

While we were catching the clowns, Chris pointed out two really cool leaf fishes and a four foot barracuda that was swimming by. Both of those were really cool and made me wish I'd brought my camera but I didn't. We did get a picture of the leaf fish with a Gump person's camera but the barracuda wasn't photographed. He swam by very slowly about ten feet away from us and turned to do a half circle around us. He was checking us out but, as I understand it, it's very rare for them to do anything more than look at people.

When we surfaced (after another 90 minute dive), we found one of the guys from Gump sitting in our boat. That was a bit of a surprise. It turned out that he'd tied his kayak off to a coral head and gone snorkeling. The rope slipped off while he was snorkeling and he returned to find that his kayak had buggered off. He had been waiting in our boat for about 30 minutes by the time we showed up. We set off down wind to look for the kayak and found it a mile or two away being towed upwind by another boat. If we'd been a minute later, we would have missed them and someone would have had a free kayak (unless they were on their way to Gump to return it - they only spoke french so we could really tell). They were very nice though and happily gave he kayak back to us. The guy that lost the kayak was very relieved and I was happy that something bad that happened had happened to someone other than me.

Now I'm going to eat some dinner and head over to Gump. There's some sort of party thing going on. I tried to get some people from Criobe to go with me (you know, in the spirit of scientific collaboration and whatnot) but they don't want to go. Oh well, what can you do.

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