January 27, 2011
We started this morning at 8:00 am with a snorkel into (drum roll please) Thunderball Grotto – as in ‘Bond, James Bond 007’ fame. We arrived at a perfect slack tide (no ripping currents to terrify me) with a very flat sea (easy viewing, no wind to give a chill, no surprises) and with 5 other dinghies of boats from this anchorage (safety in numbers, remember I wouldn’t let Tony in to Rocky Dundas because it was only the two of us). Let’s put the icing on this birthday cake: one of the boats with us (Flying Fish) has a certified dive instructor/Marine Biologist/RIW (Really Interesting Woman) (Janet) who was awesome before, but she said she’d go and ‘spot’ me since she knew I was a certified Nervous Nellie and her husband who could be Bond himself but he really does some of the stuff – like, used to own and run a crab boat in British Columbia – yeah, like The Deadliest Catch Guy.
The snorkel was great. Michelle and Vern of Enchantment; Dawn and Randy (our actual snorkel organizer) of Nirvana Now, Beth and Scott of Painkiller; Flying Fish and Endurance were all there and had great viewing. I need to get the movie again to prove to Tony I’m just like Pussy Galore!
After the snorkel, we headed back to our boats and learned that Painkiller had a starter problem. While I came to Endurance, Tony and a small village of guys worked with Scott to diagnose and plan repairs to Painkiller. Returning to Endurance, Tony set right to work on my birthday present: my Lookee Bucket! Previously we took a walk to the landfill to dispose of our on-board trash, and scavenged a ‘new’, well-used but serviceable 5 gallon bucket. Tony scrubbed it up, cut out the bottom, screwed in a piece of plexi-glass (thanks to Enchantment!) and did a final seal with silicone goop. Works like a charm! Think: glass bottom boat, or telescope to the underwater from the dinghy. We can watch fish, coral, sea bottom, and of course, our anchor!
Well, after hearing about our day today over the radio, Messenger coyly said, “well today was a pretty special day wasn’t it? Anything else special about today?” So, I told him about it being Mozart’s birthday…and MY birthday, too! Forthwith, I was regaled with a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday to me. The sentiment was so very sweet. But, dear readers, there have been a few other versions of the song I’ve heard todayJ
After all the extensive clean up of “5200”used on the Lookee Bucket (from lips, to bathing suit, to cockpit floor) we went over to Painkiller for our sundowner cocktail and a chat. After a pleasant evening, Scott ducked below, popped up a moment later and said “I bet you’ve never had Happy Birthday played to you on a bagpipe” and he launched into a Highland rendition! Stunned is not sufficient a word. After Happy Birthday we had a taste of the traditional Highland fight song and he closed with Amazing Grace. Simply tremendous.
THEN, Beth comes up with a full-size beautifully frosted chocolate cake! Those of you on land cannot necessarily appreciate how difficult it can be to ‘whip up’, especially when your boat’s been full of all the neighborhood men talking about broken boat parts, repair nightmares, and conjecturing about duty fees! And, of course, the practice sessions of Happy Birthday which Scott learned special for today!
After having our fill of cake, we gave a shout-out in the dark to Dream Catcher behind us asking if they wanted some chocolate cake…a 5 second pause and then a bellowing of “Chocolate Cake?!? YESSSSS” so off we scrambled (the 4 of us) with cake and another cocktail to join them in another celebration among boaters. We wrapped up the night quickly seeing lightening in the offing…just enough to entertain our eyes, not anywhere near enough to give concern.
54. It’s obviously going to be another great year!