Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Tidal Waves and Gasoline

Posted from Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands at 4:30 pm, May 18th, 2006

Day thirteen. After waking and finding the hotel again without water we headed out to breakfast, during which time one of the hotel staff asked “Did you want us to turn the water back on for you?” Not being one who would ever want to flush the toilet, shower, or wash my hands in the morning I simply responded that I had to be somewhere and not to worry about it. Our last day of scuba saw just Audrey, Roberta, Travis and I diving at Cousins. The seas were calm on the way over, and after an hour and fifteen minute boat ride over to Santiago Island we jumped into the water with Javier, our guide from yesterday, and a new guide, dubbed “El Ganga”. Immediately after getting in the water we found ourselves in the midst of a school of tens of thousands of black salema. People were diving through them, forming tunnels of fish so thick that the light disappeared and made it almost impossible to find other divers. It took a few minutes to swim out of the school, and we then dove along the weird lava cliffs of the rock to see seahorses, fish, rays, and several sea lions who would hover upside down staring in people’s masks. A really great dive site that everyone enjoyed. The second dive was in the same location, and we enjoyed more of the same despite a surprising drop in water temperature.

After finishing the dives and dealing with Jonathan, our holey-underwear-clad-backpacker-scuba friend from Wales, we started for home, but rough seas were conspiring to slow us down. Captain Insane-O didn’t believe in delays, however, and for the next hour we were bounced mercilessly across the waves. At one point the smell of smoke and gas became overpowering, and thinking that the combination of flame, gasoline, and compressed oxygen might be a problem we asked the captain to investigate. We did slow down, but the boat never actually came to a stop while the solution (an almost imperceptible increase in ventillation) was implemented. Audrey and I came up with our own solution, which was to breathe through snorkels stuck through the boat’s canvas walls. Luckily despite the fact that we were measuring the distance to the nearest islands in the case of a shipwreck we made it home alive.

Also, some memorable trip quotes:

  • “Hammerheads, hammerheads, here we come. Hammerheads, hammerheads, have some fun.”
  • “Scott, at what point during the race did you engage the man boobs?”
  • “I’M DELICATE!” (Joanna, during a vicious wetsuit disembarkation)
  • “Why are we going into open ocean in rough seas with almost no visibility? Well, that’s ’cause we’re crazy.”
  • “Sca-las-ia, sca-las-ia, you are blah blah blah endemic (yo).”
  • “Hey, are you guys listening to me?”
  • “Did he just say ‘anal kiss’?”
  • “Well, the stirrups came loose, and then the horse started to trot, and that seems to have been when the blunt testicular trauma occurred.”
  • “Oh, this is so dangerous.”
  • “So I jumped out of the shower, opened my door, and Aaron was standing there doing some weird butt dance…”
  • “Hey Greg, who would win if a hammerhead fought a beach master?”

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