Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Interesting Evening

Almost halfway through the week. Hump day! Yesterday was a good day.

I made a good dinner on Monday. I made shepherd’s pie – with the hamburger, green beans and tomato soup mixed together, a layer of cheese on top of that, and then a layer of mashed potatoes and baked in the oven. It was very good, and we had the leftovers yesterday.

Wayne and I went to the dive shop at 6:30 on Tuesday. There was a presentation by two guys from Australia about their scuba diving expeditions on the Great Barrier Reef. The dive shop owner was considering putting together a trip with his group, so she invited these gentlemen to show a slide presentation to pique interest. Lyn had refreshments there (beer, soda, water, pretzels, crackers, popcorn and cookies), and there was a picture slide show going on when we arrived. One of the instructors at the dive shop recently traveled to Thailand on business and took some time out to go scuba diving there. What fantastic photos he took!

The presentation started about 7:15. What a great trip it would be, if the economy were not so bad right now! The owner, Mike Ball, and his friend Ron Stevens gave a great presentation. Ron used to be in business with Mike, but now has branched off on his own as a marine artist. He has a website (link above). The two men were giving out prizes. Ron had 4 beautiful prints of his artwork and Mike offered a diving expedition as a prize. To win the artwork, you had to be able to answer questions about the presentation.

Mike has a great set up – he owns a boat, and it's a live-aboard boat. Meaning it’s your hotel for the 3, 4 or 7 days of your trip. They take you to 3 dive sights, and you can make a total of at least 15 dives. The water clarity there is unbelievable and they had some wonderful photos. They offer divers the chance to see sharks feeding (no thanks!) – they put the divers on the bottom and they stay out of the way while the sharks are fed above them. They have a permit to do this – normally shark-feeding is frowned upon. I think it encourages sharks to encroach on areas where they find people. This is done out at sea. They also have a permit to allow divers to interact with Minke whales. The divers are forbidden to approach the animals, but the whales are very curious and tend to swim toward the divers to check them out. There were also diver-sized cod so close to the divers that they could reach out and touch them.

After seeing the presentation, it almost made me wish that I could dive. ALMOST! Afterwards, they asked questions about the presentation and awarded the art prints (they were really nice and I would have liked one of those). Then they offered the chance to win the expedition. But to make it fair for everyone (some people must have known they would be asking questions, so they were making notes throughout the presentation), they had Ron walk up and down in front of everyone, then they had us guess his weight! I was 12 pounds off, so I didn’t win. They did have two people who were two pounds away, on either side of his correct weight. Then they had them guess what day of the month his birthday was. The winner was the one who chose the number closest to 24. They did award him a certificate for a free expedition. I guess he only has to pay his way there and back. It was a good prize, as their cheapest expedition was $1500! All in all, it was a nice evening.

The artist who was there last night is moving into producing a line of clothing with his artwork on it. He showed samples to Lyn yesterday, and I think she is considering placing an order for a few pieces to sell in her store. I’ve already told Wayne that I want one. They are expensive, but I don't care. Ron showed us a real nice zip-front sweatshirt, stone washed with the artwork on it and it was gorgeous! It had a nice weight to it too – not a cheaply made thing.

I'll be using a vacation day tomorrow. I'm not to happy about it! We had Verizon come in and install Fios TV and internet, along with the phone line. The phones worked about 30 minutes and we haven't been able to place or receive calls since then. Someone will have to come out and search for a short in the wiring on Thursday. The best estimated time of arrival was sometime before 8 PM! What the heck? Oh, well! I'll take advantage of the day to get some crocheting done. On the up side, the internet is definitely speedier than it was before. The better to browse Crochetville with, my dear!

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