One More Time Around The Sun

3@15 Chillin'
Chillin’  during 3@15.

I have not posted as much as I like lately and not much about diving. My brain is a little scattered by a new contract, where I’m encountering a steeper learning curve than expected, or perhaps I’m a touch slower than advertised, jury is still out on that, but meh. Also we have not been diving in a while (I’m not ready for ice diving, doubt I will ever be) and most of you already know all of my scuba stories.

Like my favourite wreck…

Prow of the Vandenberg, off Key-West
Prow of the Vandenberg, off Key-West.

…the crab dance.

Yup, that's what the crab dance looks like. Divemasters are rarely impressed.
Yup, that’s what the crab dance looks like. Divemasters are rarely impressed.

Or the sharks off Great Exuma.

I've seen cruise missiles look less menacing.
I’ve seen cruise missiles look less menacing.

I wanted to do a post about some of my most memorable dives but my pics are still a mess post recovery. Yes you heard right, I recovered the crashed hard drive and I must give props to the software I used, EaseUs recovery software. For a hundred bucks I got all my archives back and it was well worth it. The software is from China, so possibly it installed a backdoor on my pc, in which case some communist spies will be mighty bored.

As I hinted none too subtly in the title, I have recently completed another swing around the Sun without disappearing from the face of the Earth, and that’s a good thing. Yay me. It was a good excuse to get the whole Diving & Chillin’ tribe together and a pretty good time was had by all (I hope). I scored some cool club swag, but the real prize was seeing everybody.

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Also there was a kraken that needed releasing. Like I said, good times.

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Good enough to make me overlook the fact that I’m starting to pile on the years… Mememto mori and all that. At least we kept up with the young kids and then some, let’s just say the day after clean up was substantial.

As it turns out the morning, which came shockingly fast, was gorgeous, sunny and warm. The perfect day to break out a new book, have my perennial official drink of summer (Campari and soda) and avoid actually cleaning up. Very pleasant.

It doesn't mean you're an alcoholic if you drink before noon, it just means you're a pirate.
It doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic if you drink before noon, it just means you’re a pirate.

Reading Michener’s first book (1947) drove home the transience of fame. There was a time he was extremely popular and well known, these days not so much. Famous in your day forgotten now eh? I guess that’s how it goes, after all even Arthur was king only for a time.  I’m thinking Hrothgar was wrong when he said fame was a bulwark against death, perhaps so was Achilles. Then again, I still know their names, I feel like I’m repeating myself. Sorry about that. I’m heaping on the literary references and I haven’t even started drinking yet.

Random thought: The South Pacific has an interesting place in our (North American?) imagination. Maybe it started with Melville and culminated in the Tiki movement, which if you think about it has lots in common with the Romantic movement in Europe right after the industrial revolution, hmmm, romantiki. Alright, moving on, but there is something there, and we really need to travel these parts one day. Ooooh, that would be a cool trip, several weeks/months of island hoping? Yes please. Well, if I can get time off work that is… and cue the sarcasm beers.

Sarcasm beers.
Sarcasm beers.

I haven’t used them in a while and I like making fun of myself. Back to important matters.

I recently decreed that the official drink of summer 2016 was going to be the daiquiri. I’ve talked about it in a previous post if you’re of a mind to give it a go, just remember to ease off on the sugar, that’s when this drink really shines. I’ve been tasting all sorts of rums lately and I think this cocktail has a perfect balance of flavours and is crisper than my recent margaritas. Something’s been a little off with them, perhaps I’ll look into it.

The necessities.
The necessities. Plus time flies when you’re having rum.

Yup, just had a daiquiri with Jamaican rum and it was elite. For stronger fuller tastes, Appleton “entry level” is a very  good much-more-than-decent mixer.

I've given up buying small bottles. This one comes with a convenient carry handle in the back. Oh well. At least the bottle is still glass.
I’ve given up buying small bottles. This one comes with a convenient carry handle in the back. Oh well. At least the bottle is still glass.

Daiquiris are also a great way to avoid scurvy. My pleasure.

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With the crazy prices of limes in the last couple of years I think they are the new status symbol. Forget the big watch or the fancy bottle of wine. Show up at a party with a bag of limes and everyone will be like, “damn that’s a cold ass honky”. At least it’s what happens inside my head. The world doesn’t always catch up.

Blling even Kanye envies.
Blling even Kanye envies.

My mention of the South Pacific above, the whole trip around the Sun thing and also a ruined bottle of wine got me thinking as it usually would about the Holy Grail, Kokomo and time. I’ll save the first two for another discussion, but in short I got a classic French bottle of wine from a relative all the way across the globe , Reunion island if you insist on knowing, the label must have been covered with dormant spores because overnight, in the suitcase, it went from pristine to this.

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Literally overnight in the plane’s cargo hold. 2005 Pauillac, a grand cru classé, my expectations were high for something kick ass. You could tell the cork was a bit tired, the wine had made its way almost through it. It was certainly the last moment to drink it.

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Unfortunately I was quite mistaken, that moment had long passed. The wine was dead dead dead, I supposed the tropics did  it no favours though I was told it was cellared properly. Disappointing and a little sad (first world problems), but I did make some wonderful gravies from it. Two lessons we can take away from this, a) don’t wait too long or only keep the good stuff for special occasions, they may come too late/be a funeral (sorry about the grim), and b) when life gives you lemons (or bad wine) you make gin tonics (or excellent gravy).

With that in mind we booked a diving trip to Panama. Logical yes?Leaving in two weeks, which means I need to get my passport renewed since Panama is part of the ever increasing number of countries that want your papers to be valid six months after your date of entry. It’s not like Anthony Bourdain’s passport to be sure, but the quality of the memories make up for the number.

Round round get around I get around. I have a thing surf rock I guess.
Round round get around I get around. I have a thing for surf rock I guess.

It should be quite adventuresome, we’re talking deserted island where dead prisoners were fed to sharks, 10 hours bus rides, really small planes, monkeys in trees and diving both the Pacific and the Caribbean on the same trip. Not too shabby.  Which reminds me I must get some decent diver’s insurance this time around, as we’ll be doing a fair bit of scuba and not always in easy conditions. Your luck will hold as long as you don’t count on it, it’s one of those Heaven helps those that help themselves situation.

Forged by my grandfather, one of the most decent and brave men I have known.
Forged by my grandfather, one of the most decent and brave men I have known.

I plan on living out my Hemingway/Jack London/Bourdain fantasy by blogging while on the trip. It should be interesting.

We’re boldly looking towards new adventures. Not bad for an old (sea) dog.

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Talk to you guys soon.

6 thoughts on “One More Time Around The Sun”

  1. Interesting use of elite as an adjective. Moreover, I can attest to how kick-ass it is to Emulate Hemmingway and blog whilst travelling.

  2. Aahh… Hemmingway…. My truly most despised author I can’t help but read…

    Have a good trip, looking forward to the post!

    1. Tip of the hat sir, tip of the hat. And agreed, Old Man and the Sea was like a relentless wave of getting fucked over by life.

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