Step Three: Diving With Sharks

Late Wednesday night of our cruise, we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas – our first shore experience began shortly after. We docked around 9PM and were able to push our way out of the boat a half hour or so later.

Everything was closed.

Well, not everything. The Atlantis resort was open. We all piled in a taxi and went to go see it. I have to say that it is an amazing place and the aquarium is … well, amazing.

After that evening, we got up very early the next morning [breakfast at 5AM is early, yes?] and met our dive boat owner at the front of the docks. She drove us to the other side of the island and we hopped on the boat and went out to sea.


I have to say I don’t think I’ve had another dive as relaxing and fun as this boat trip was. We originally asked for a two-tank dive, but they arranged it so that we had one deep dive and one shallow dive which used up only half of our air. There were quite a few lion fish in the water there – not natively, but accidentally introduced there.


Then, they took us to a spot where we could swim with sharks.

A previous boat had fed the sharks and they were clustered around the boats when we got there. That boat left and we dove in – well, I dove in, while the rest of the team followed slowly.


Some of the sharks came quite close.


I wanted to pet them… well, maybe not, but it was tempting to reach out and touch them.

The dive master said that there were about 30 sharks around us, but only a few were close at any given time.


I really like this one of Laura and our friends. Notice how they are tightly clinging to the rope while the sharks circle behind them… 🙂


This  was a dive that I will likely never forget.

Then, we got out of the water and back on the boat. If the rest of the trip could have only been so good!

Step Two: Departure [Also Known As: “The Fog”]

After a somewhat inconvenient flight to Houston and a very pleasant dinner with my father at a wonderful Mexican place, Laura and I wake up early the next morning to be shuttled to meet Norma, Laura’s mom, for breakfast and the remainder of the way to port.

That breakfast was to be the best we would have until arriving back at Norma’s place.

Arrival at the port went smoothly and easily. We met up with our friends and got quickly on board. What I hadn’t paid attention to, but should have, was the weather. It was foggy at my parents’ early that morning, but I had assumed it would dry up later in the day. It didn’t. In fact: it would grow worse.

Our departure was delayed – and delayed – and delayed, until we even slept hoping to awaken in the middle of the Gulf. In the morning, I rolled over to glance out over the beautiful … port of Galveston. I went back to sleep.

We finally started moving later that day. That fog delay caused us to miss one of our ports of call: Freeport, Bahamas. So instead of visiting Key West, Freeport, and Nassau, we had to go to Nassau first, skip Freeport and hit Key West last.

At least we had a good time in Nassau – and were able to leave the boat.

More on that later.

Step One: Arrival

Today, we flew from DC to Houston for the first stage of our journey. It wasn’t so simple as it sounds. For some reason, there was enough terrible weather that we had to land half-way there in Knoxville to re-fuel. A very strong headwind made the trip very slow and costly.

At least I an add a new airport to my list now.

Tomorrow, we drive down to Galveston and board the boat. I’ve never been on a cruise like this before – only river a river cruise and a ferry ride from Vancouver to Juneau, Alaska. Those were cruises, but not like this one: this is a CRUISE. Big boat and all.

We’ll be doing a bit of diving, a bit of photography, and a lot [I hope] of relaxing.

Almost Destroyed

Some of you may have noticed this morning when the blog was unavailable. As you can see, it’s back now and working properly. I guess that some of the “fixes” I put in place broke things over the weekend and I only now got it back up and running. It as almost completely lost. That would have been bad. At least I had a backup.

Anyway: all is well now with the world and the web server.


New Web Server

I bet you didn’t even notice, but we’re now running on Windows Server 2008 R2, which is 64-bit only.


This is has been an ongoing project which I started a while back when 2008 came out. I wanted to migrate all the sites from 2003 to 2008. I got bogged down and then R2 was release and I couldn’t just upgrade the new server, so I had to deploy a new one. Presently I have 3.

Soon, there will be only one.

There is still much work to be done, but it won’t be the onerous task I thought it would be… I hope…