Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

We were picked up right at 9:10am by the dive boat, and threw in our gear and headed over to the north coast of Bequia to do a drift dive. On the boat with us was Dan, Dani, and Dana, a family of divers. Dan and Dana were in their 70s, and Dani was their daughter in their 40s. It wasn't until we were in the water that I realized what was different about Dani—she had lost the use of her legs, and could only use her hands to propel herself under water. Yet her arm motions were graceful, and she moved just as easily under water as any of us, and had great eyes, spotting wildlife and other notable objects that I would miss.

Our first dive was a drift dive, known as Cathedral. Drift diving is a great way to see things under water. You sit and watch the world go by as the current pushes you along, and when you see something you like you stroke gently against the current and float in the water. I could do it all day.

Our second dive was at Boulders, which was a loop around some fascinating formations. A giant grab was spotted but I didn't get to see it. When we came back to town, we had Roti, and then spent some time at an internet cafe, where I uploaded the last of my book reviews. I then negotiated with Alena about our departure time the next morning—she wanted to catch the 7:30am ferry, but my position was that if we missed the 7:00am ferry, we would have a backup, whereas if we missed the 7:30am ferry we would be in trouble. We eventually negotiated on a pick up time of 6:20am.

We then returned to the Illusion with everyone, and I got the phone number of Peter the water taxi guy, who would be working all night on New Year's Eve. Dinner was going to be at the Salty Dog today (with Norman paying for everything except drinks), and then there would be fireworks and a party afterwards.

By the time we got ashore on the water taxi, the party had already started. Loud boom boxes and speakers were playing all around town, and I was impressed by how earth shattering even cheap speakers could sound if you simply poured enough power into them. By the time we got to the Salty Dog, we saw the Josh and Noah had already been there and were already working on some beers. They said they saw Jude Law on Princess Margaret beach after their dive session was over. Allison and Norman soon joined us, and then they got us a table. There were foreboding storm clouds coming over the hill, but we saw nothing more than a sprinkle.

Dinner started with a bowl of Callaloo soup, and the main entree was a choice of fish or steak, though Lisa got a special vegan dish made for her. Both came relatively quickly, though since the steaks were all cooked the same I wondered why they bothered asking each of us individually how we wanted the steaks done. Dessert, however, which was a key lime pie took a long time in coming. By the time it was delivered it was 9:30am, and we had started to see some fireworks fired off by various houses that were too eager to wait for midnight's official showing.

Lisa and I were pretty tired, so we took leave of everyone and went back to the Illusion to get some sleep before the next morning's early start. I heard some fireworks go off just before I drifted off to sleep, and folks the next morning would tell me about dancing in the streets and a wild party, but I was never much of a party animal anyway.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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