More “interesting” people arrived at Small Hope Bay Lodge the other day. The best single word to describe them would be “curmudgeons”. Definitely a couple of characters! Curmudgeon #1 is 76 years old and started diving (self taught) when he was 19 – long before diving became a mainstream activity. He and Jeff’s father (Small Hope Bay’s original owner) began diving together and he’s been coming to this lodge every year for the past 40 years. He and his friend, Curmudgeon #2, along with various others in their group, do the “over the wall” dive each morning that is 185 ft in depth (the deepest Andrew and I have gone is about 130 ft). It’s obviously a rather short dive and there’s not much to see at that depth. The dive staff have put a variety of things there just for fun such as the “chicken fish” (a rubber chicken). Although we were pleased by the fact the dive staff thought we were experienced enough to invite us to do this dive, we simply didn’t feel comfortable at the thought of going that deep.
#2 was also on the three dives we did on Wednesday. I don’t think I can politely give my impression of him so I’ll just say it – annoying, loud, obnoxious. That about covers it. He was continually interrupting staff when they were trying to do the dive briefing and very critical of others. They’re both very set in their ways and believe in simplicity but seem to very laissez-faire in the safety aspects of diving that have been drilled into our heads. For example, you don’t need a dust cap on your regulator, you don’t need to have your regulator professionally serviced every year, don’t worry about leaks in the tank, integrated weight systems will kill you, you don’t need an octopus with a spare reg, if you don’t think about it you’ll never get the bends, safety stops aren’t necessary on shallow dives, most people have way too much gear, and the list goes on. Luckily we only dove with them one day!
On our day before flying back to Nassau we biked around a bit, visiting the Androsia batik factory and an inland blue hole that was quite beautiful.
Today we’re off to Turks & Caicos for a live aboard dive trip. Hoping for smooth waters!!
(For photos, check Andrew's blog post.)