Night Diving and More Camping

Beautiful night sky and awesome tent from Grandma and Grandpa Micik

After our German lesson on Saturday, we headed to White Star Quarry for some diving and camping during the long weekend.  First up was a night dive on Saturday.  After a quick dinner at the local bar/restaurant, we geared up and hopped into the water at dusk.

Night diving is a completely different experience than day diving.  For one, it's dark (obviously).  We use special water-proof flashlights underwater to help us see.  In freshwater, bioluminescent organisms are rare, although there is a quarry in Wisconsin that has them - another place on my personal bucket list to dive - but in the ocean, it's common.  To see them, you need to turn off your flashlight and allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.  Much easier said than done if, like me, you have a slightly irrational fear/uneasiness in the dark.  Anywho, bioluminescence in the ocean is awesome.  When you move your hands, its like glitter is flying off of them.  Seriously - so much glitter!  Check it out for yourself sometime.  Night diving also lets one to see many of the more nocturnal marine creatures.  The fish are usually sleeping (out in the open), so it can be fun to get a lot closer to them at night than you can during the day before the swim away.  I won't tell anyone if you poke them, as long as you don't tell on me.  After the night dive, we headed back to the campsite for a fire and to play with the long exposure on the camera (see the tent picture above).

Sunday we were back in the water again for three dives.  The first was a fun dive that Aaron and I did.  We explored a little bit of the quarry that we don't get to very often.  The next two dives were pretty neat.  An acquaintance of ours is currently in training to become a PADI Open Water Instructor and his evaluation is in a couple of weeks.  So, we acted his dummy students!  We headed to the training platforms and let him practice instructing us.  There were three of us and we were told to purposely perform skills incorrectly so that he could correct us.  It was interesting to see the PADI side of Open Water since our own Open Water training was done through a different organization, SSI (subsequent certifications have been through PADI).  I did learn an important life skill during this: how to tie a bowline knot.

The big news for this weekend though: Aaron did his 100th dive!  Typically, and if one is in the right company, it's tradition to do it nekked (or in a speedo to spare sensitive eyes).  However, since we playing student, he opted to stay in his drysuit, not that I blame him - that water is COLD still!  We finished up our dives for the day somewhat early in the afternoon but decided to hang out since we didn't have work the next day (yay long weekend!).  I strung up a hammock next to the water and promptly fell asleep.  For an hour and a half.  Without sunscreen on my blindingly white legs.  That left some interesting tan lines that I will now have to even out....

All in all, it was a nice, relaxing weekend filled with sun, diving and good times.  Some pictures from this weekend are below - a couple were even taken by yours truly.  Who knew I could be handy with a camera?  I kind of actually impressed myself.  What was everyone else up to for the long weekend?