Milford Sound Diving

Although Jen and I were both certified as Open Water Divers in climates that required multiple wetsuits, all of our diving thereafter was in warm water. We’ve worn 3mm wetsuits on a regular basis but since certification, no hoods, gloves, or socks inside of booties. Earlier this month, that changed. Milford Sound is a well-known tourist destination on the South Island of New Zealand reached by a single road. Stretches

The Joy of Diving

The Joy of Diving

Floating peacefully above a tube sponge, I lift my legs above my head and drop my hands down, my fingers extending to the edge. Slowly, two cleaner shrimp scuttle up the inside of the tube, curious about what I am and whether they should give me a manicure. I’m hanging upside down, about 50 feet underwater. Jen is nearby, taking photos of a spiny lobster. I breathe slowly, enjoying my

Becoming a Divemaster

Becoming a Divemaster

“All right guys, get your weight belts on. Don’t bother suiting up just yet but make sure your weight belts are on properly. Right-hand release and all that.” I wanted to ask, “why are we putting our weight belts on?” but before I could, all hell broke loose. The DMTs were flailing about in the water calling for help, our instructors were yelling that we needed to jump in and

An Indefinite Stay

An Indefinite Stay

As any backpacker knows, there’s a common conversation among travelers that starts with a routine set of questions: where are you from, where are you headed, how long have you been traveling, and so on. Around here, we have plenty of those exchanges but almost as many that go something like this: New friend to us: “Where are you from?” One of us: “The U.S. Boston. And you?” New friend:

Whale Shark!

Whale Shark!

Our schedule here on Utila is dictated by 4 things: hunger, fatigue, weather, and diving. On days when we aren’t diving, we eat when we’re hungry and sleep when we’re tired. If the rain is torrential and the streets muddy, we hole up somewhere with e-books or watch something we downloaded onto the computer when the internet actually worked. The television is based on satellite so when the rain is