Catching up with Depeche Mode, I mean Diving and Chillin’

Buckle up compadres, it’s been a while so this might be a long and bumpy one.

I came extremely close this autumn to putting the key in the door of this blog/mini vanity project and throwing the (biodegradable) key into an unnamed abyss. After all, there are costs and no matter how much I enjoy writing (you should give it a go, it’s really fun) in the context of my days it started to feel a little bit frivolous. maybe even wasteful. Plus I see most of you on a regular basis, so it’s not like you need my long winded prose to stay in touch.

However, last week, a very pleasant gentleman whom we met on our last trip to Cozumel reached out (hello Devon and Amy!). His email included a picture of one of our stickers from the dive boat, still there and looking good.

It stirred a little something in me I guess (thanks Devon). So this morning as I woke up humming Depeche Mode to myself (as one does), the pull of the keyboard was stronger than sloth or self consciousness. So whoop there it is, get ready for a condensed version of the last year and some change. The three espressos should help me write it in one go.

We returned home from the aforementioned trip to Mexico a scant few days before Christmas, which sounded like a feasible idea but turned out to be a bit like boot camp, for the Marines.

Sadly Colette is no longer with us, poor thing was quite sick.

Early February of the new year (2022), despite assurances to the contrary and following a botched merger (it’s my opinion and I stand by it) of two med-tech companies I was declared surplus to requirements and canned. Ooooooops, but silver linings, because it “liberated” me, made me available to basically run and operate, with my much better half, the crumbling family sugar shack. That was less like boot camp and more like a selection course, but for the SAS. I’m not kidding. An endless number of 12-16 hours days of hard labour, I nicknamed the place Botany Bay.

We did come out the other side unscathed (as a couple I mean), even if I’m pretty sure I did some permanent damage to my hands. Oh well.  We did learn a ton of new skills though, any type of farming is like that, you need to be able to fix your own stuff.

I was sort of hoping the maple sugar business might be a viable hustle but not so much. Still, we did it again this year, and depending on how professional things shake out for me, we might do it again.

My new found freedom permitted a leisurely summer, Gen built and completely designed I wine rack, ’cause she can do anything. I helped a little by cutting a bunch of stuff, and indulged in my usual vices.

July of that year saw Butch, our stalwart Honda Civic (she thinks she’s a pick up truck) drive all the way to Percé for a few days of scuba.

The trip was organized by our friends from Nautilus out of Québec City (awesome people). These are the folks we get our serious gear from (dry suits, dive computers) and we go diving for scallops with them pretty much every year, even when we catch the tail ends of hurricanes.

I don’t have underwater pics to share from the Percé trip, it was challenging in parts, adventuresome, but great, and  lot’s of seals darting in and out around you. A few lucky divers even came face to face, so to speak, with a whale. Beautiful country too.

Gen’s remote work office, not too shabby!

After we got home I kept on indulging, and we started making plans for the next scallop trip.

We headed back out to northern New-Brunswick as summer came to a close. It was a decent trip in terms of the scallops we caught (but not as good as this year). The dives all follow a similar profile, you go down to the bottom, and stay there until your air runs out or your net is full. It’s all about covering as much ground as you can, picking up legal sized scallops (only and always, don’t be a douche poacher diver) as quickly as possible. A good tip (thanks Stef) is to go with the current and just fin like your dinner depends on it. You will consume a bit more air than usual, it’s the price to pay. This year (yup we are going back), I’ll actually bring the gopro to take a few shots for you guys.

The Peregrine by Shearwater, fantastic dive computer! Gen loves it. I still use my old Aeris 300….

As December rolled around we felt the pull of the ocean once more, the Mysterious Lady of the Sea, as I call her, was beckoning, but this time back to Roatan, where we hadn’t been in some years.

You’ve heard me  refer to “The Mysterious Lady of the Sea”, before, it is the embodiment (probably sentient and with agency, but that is a whole other discussion, better suited for a sit down and a bourbon) of all the awesomeness and mystery that the oceans are. An ex-colleague and now friend (hi Becks), with many talents, included the Mysterious Lady as part of her own (yes, her own, as in  created, painted, everything) tarot deck. The deck is frankly fantastic, and if I can be true to my word, and what seems to be a repressed writing addiction, I will tell you all about it at length some other time.  Looks good doesn’t it?

Back to Roatan, it  was great. We stayed at Anthony’s Key, which is a great resort (but do note alcohol is not included…oooops, did not read the fine print). It has a great island vibe, especially with the bungalows on an island away from the main area of the resort. There’s a water taxi that constantly shuttles back and forth. This is not a party resort, it’s a scuba resort (I mean they advertise in Dive Alert magazine), and everything to do with scuba was tight. Dive lockers, boats, we had a great time, don’t skip the orientation briefing, lot’s of good info there. We’re there a few gripes? Sure, but nothing making our own drinks didn’t fix.

By the way, I go on about drinking and drinkskutlur a lot, BUT the number one cause of decompression accidents for recreational divers is dehydration. So be a grown up, drink like one, and dive like one. That being said, a couple of beers after a day of scuba while filling out logbooks is a time hallowed tradition we will not give up. 🙂

Ti-ponche (also needs its own post) and check out that dive profile!


Yes, we travel with our flag.

Right next to the word “caution” a D&C sticker greets you.
Send us a pic if you are there, it’s always nice and it might even trigger a post.
The bungalows

Diving Roatan is a treat, I think it is one of the great scuba destinations in the Caribbean, (but there are many). We met really cool and pleasant divers from Texas, Florida and Ontario, and also an awesome lady in her late 70’s diving by herself.  Good times. The only boondoggle (I was about to use saltier language but I’m making efforts to be more gentlemanly…), was the return flight. Ah Sunwing! Clearly they over extended the schedule of their flight crew and they could not legally fly the return leg. It’s the utter lack of communication and forethought though that was disappointing.  It must have been clear HOURS before we all turned up at the airport that the plane would not be leaving. Yet, 300 people showed up and milled around for several hours while no one was providing any information. Lovely. I have seen gaggle of geese with better organization. We ended up taking matters into our own hands, helping out some fellow strandees and hoped Sunwing would eventually reimburse us for the extra night. To be fair they did, five month later with a slightly snarky email. Thank you for paying for your own mistake “as a sign of good faith”? OK.

On a funny note, once back home my old but brave  dive computer, did not know we had been out of the water… It does that sometimes. I’m guessing salt crystals (rinse your gear and rinse it well) form on the pressure switch. I dunk it in fresh water overnight and it fixes itself. That watch has been, on many many adventures.

Yes, I’m still at seven feet underwater. Good thing I still have almost ten hours of no deco.

After Christmas and the New Year’s celebration came and wet, it was time for another season at the sugar shack. It went better (for me) than last year, but was still harrowing. At least we got lots of visitors (thank you guys).

May saw us in Boston. Why Boston? Well, I really wanted to see The Interrupters, I had been playing them almost on repeat as a pick me up that wasn’t German techno metal, and I was outraged (really) at the obvious money grab of their Montreal concert (not by them). The show “sold-out”, and the only tickets available were on the “official reseller website” for five times the price. I mean if you are going to try and screw me, at least take me out to dinner first. So much for trying to be a gentleman I guess. So instead of seeing the show in our home town we drove down to Boston, dumped a nice little amount of money into the local economy, and had a STUNNING time. The concert was fantastic (moderate mosh pit, yes please), dodgy back alley bars (you know me), a historic tall ship (U.S.S. Constitution, don’t miss it), microbreweries and meeting up with friends. Boston deserved its own post, but I slacked off and lost my notes (yes I take notes), have some pictures instead.

The bar was not as easy to find as I had expected, but we prevailed.
Such a good show.

The rest of the summer was a flurry of activities and taking care of family. Some motorcycle trips, including a visit to ancestors, scuba in a quarry, some house improvements, you know the drill, the actual blessings of a quiet(ish) life, including semi dodgy local bars (great town for that Montreal).

Semi dodgy bar
Another semi dodgy bar
Visiting ancestors

In August we had the great pleasure or reuniting the Diving and Chillin’ Clan and head south as a group, which we hadn’t done in years (small kids and all that), for some scuba and general R&R.

A suitable (very cool) house was found in Akumal, Mexico, where we had been before, but so long ago it predated the blog (!!!). I have to say it was much better diving then I remembered. Also the sea turtles were laying eggs on the beach in front of our house. Supervised by volunteers who knew what they were doing, we got to see it with our own eyes. Magic.

Ever since I saw Cousteau’s The Silent World, I have been hoping to one day save some baby turtles and help them reach the sea. Well seeing them just born was just as good. Cousteau has been getting a lot of flak in the recent years, essentially for having the sensibilities of his time. However, like all giants, no matter how flawed, it is still their shoulders we stand on. Wes Anderson puts it very well in the last scenes of his The Life Aquatic

In any case, great house, great crew, very good diving and dive shop. Again, better, much better than remembered, better boats too.

Possibly on par with the house we rented in Belize, excellent. The pickets are turtle nests!

A volunteer saving babies from raccoons and gulls.
Hoist the colours matey.


Custom trip logbook, our previous Indian Ocean edition were filled.
That book is always in our bags, its siblings often come along.
Part of the crew, including future member Ju-Ju, discussing our next adventures.
Souvenir found on the beach, made into Christmas tree ornament.

A glorious summer was coming to a slow close. It had been packed, Calvin and Hobbes style. I even finished writing my fantasy novel and found an alien in our back yard. Okay, not an actual extraterrestrial, but a kick ass caterpillar that turns into North America’s biggest moth, Hyalophora cecropia, and it is beautiful.

Not an actual E.T., but come on!
My book! Punk Rocker and the Knights of the Hourglass, I printed 10 copies for friends and family.

I had started writing my book a while back, for my nieces who were tired of rereading Harry Potter, and my sister was not happy with what was available, so I thought I would give it go, got to put all my mythology reading to good use! I have to say I am quite happy with the results, even if the industry does not seem to agree… Maybe I should put up a few chapters here, what do you think?

And then, wouldn’t you know it, it was time to go diving for scallops once more. We packed up Butch, including the expresso machine (we are not savages), and headed to Petit-Rocher New-Brunswick once more. By now we are practically locals… We are used to that eight hours drive, it’s down right pleasant.

This year the fishing was crazy good. There was a bit more current, we got dropped a bit deeper, and we filled our nets to capacity. It was the first time we both reached our quota every day.

Headed to New-Brunswick
Morning briefing
On the boat, very techie crew, mostly doubles.
A cooler of goodness! Scallops are kept on the shell in case we have to prove they are of legal size.


The freezer of goodness. Scallops are the best. Raw or pan seared, equally good.


And there you go, the wheel has turned and it’s Christmas time again.

How has your year been? I hope it’s been good. We all deserve a break I think.

Be well all of you. Very, very best wishes for the holidays to you and yours. Hope to see you under the waves or around a bar.

And keep an eye out for our stickers or somebody wearing our shirts.

Remember that fellow?


12 thoughts on “Catching up with Depeche Mode, I mean Diving and Chillin’”

    1. Nice of you to say buddy!
      What’s up with you, any cool diving lately? You were already doing tech dives in doubles last time we spoke, how’s that going?

      Have a kick ass Christmas.

  1. It’s great that you’re back at it! Brian and I enjoyed meeting you at AKR and I was excited to read your blog today.
    We were in Bonaire earlier this year. The diving was somewhat disappointing. It was very windy and entries and exits were sometimes quite challenging. The diversity/quantity of the marine life seemed to have been affected by the weather, too. Ah well. We still enjoyed ourselves.
    You know what’s really cool? Our 11 year old granddaughter was certified this year. …. Dorothy from Ontario

    1. Wow, so good to hear from you! And it’s wonderful that your granddaughter is joining the scuba community! Too bad your Bonaire trip was so-so. Who did you fly with? 😉

      Have a wonderful Christmas and please extend our hellos to Brian as well.

  2. Yeah! Woo! The blog lives on! Awesome recap, what a year of adventures, and great photos. Looking forward to more bloggos next year 🙌

  3. Hey you! So great to hear about all those great adventures! Always happy to get the newsletter in my email 😀
    Life in the country is treating jeff and I well and it would be great to see you for a visit. Take good care and happy holidays to you!


    1. Alwways good to hear from you buddy, so sad we missed each other last summer. Hope we can have beers soon.

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