or at least, there should be some organ music accompanying this little blog, as it is more of an inspirational thing that i am writing about today, and to be quite above board here i should also tip my do-rag in the general direction of firesign theater for the title above.it’s a nasty rainy morning on the island today, and i wasn’t exactly disappointed to find out that the port had been closed– i was already WET all over from getting rained upon when i dropped a regulator off for a tune-up and picked up my nitrox tanks from the fill place– HOME, JAMES!! was my thought, and i changed into warm dry duds when i got here. i wanted to work on some waxes, but every time i sat down in there i did just that– sit– and so i have let it go for the day, deciding to get some other stuff done.

this last week i went out to work for a friend of mine in town, who uses my help when things get a little busy, or she needs something special done. jorge (the other divemaster) and i were to go out and guide some people from a dive shop called, i think, saguaro divers out of arizona (as much as i have a great memory, names somehow escape me), along with another divemaster dude called flash, who had a smaller, but affiliated, group. nine peeps in our group, composed of 5 regular divers and 4 quadrapalegic divers. first, i must explain that i was as dumb as a stick here, i had always ASSUMED (and we all know what “assume” does, no? makes an ass of u and me!!) that the term quadrapalegic meant that the person had no use of all four limbs– however, i was soon to find out that in reality it refers to the point in the spine where the spinal cord was cut/damaged. all four divers had some use of their hands, and one was able to walk, although with a little care.

getting them all aboard and off the boat into the water, back into the boat and then dropping them at thier pier took a little learning, but one of the first things i found out about them was that there was not a whiner in the bunch– they were all pretty darn motivated and easy to deal with. each had his/her own handler, to help them with the actual act of diving, but two of them pretty much did their own diving with little or no assistance.i dove all week with these people, in conditions ranging from easy to downright dangerous, and they were all first class clients, full of sass and good cheer. now, i don’t want to homilise about this, but i was truly impressed with their vigor and courage, the way that they interacted with their handlers– who, i should mention, were perfectly splendid men and women in their own right– insert sounds of applause here– and the way that they all kept putting themselves out there, pushing the envelope as it were. i was humbled and impressed. i salute them from the heart!!

after the five days i was tuckered out and ready for some serious kicking back, but late in the afternoon i got a call from another dive shop– they had a sudden call for a night dive, and could i come and help them out PLEEEEEEZE? sigh. all right.

oog. 23 divers and 4 divemasters on one boat. i had six people and we jumped where we usually get out of the water, as the current was running backwards. they didn’t mention that it was also sortuv raging out there– ZZZZOOOOMMMM!! not much time for stopping, but we did find a lot of big crabbage, plenty of lobsters, a couple of octopus, some toadfish and, right at the end, a beautiful large squid. what formed a constant during the tank was the huge gi-normous school of silversides– small fish– that were everywhere– so many of them ran into me that at times it was like being peppered with buckshot!! beautiful and sparkley and moving like an ephemeral mood at times, shifting in and out of view, it formed a little optical illusion as background for the tank.

it was 10:30 by the time i was driving back home again, and i passed by palapitas, a local place on the beach, where i knew the saguaro cats were all having themselves a ball, but i was squoze dry by then, and i just waved as i passed on by– thanks for the memories, you peeps– hope to see you again!!

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