Thursday, August 29, 2013

We gathered at the beach...

A bunch of friends - some in body, some in spirit - gathered at Playa Borinquen last night for a surprise community farewell to Elaine before she heads off on her new adventure.

What new adventure, you ask?

Elaine leaves next week for two weeks visiting kids and grandkids. Then she leaves for the island of St. Lucia for three months. She is going to be the SLP (speech-language pathologist) for an NGO center that is the only provider of therapy services for children on the island.

St. Lucia is a tiny island (only  239 sq mi, compared with just over 3,500 sq mi in Puerto Rico) down the West Indies island chain 472 miles (760 km), about an hour-and-a-half flying time, southeast of Puerto Rico.

We will miss her tons (especially me). But this great new adventure is something that speaks to her heart so I am so happy she has this opportunity. May Navidad come soon, though! LOL

Thursday, August 22, 2013

R.I.P., David

Later today David Pfaff's friends will gather with his wife Liane at his home in Carmel, California, to remember and celebrate David's life. Although we can't be there in body, we want Liane and Stanley and Charlie and Tito (and David's neighbor Clint Eastwood) to know we are there with them in spirit.

This Medalla is for David. Thank you for everything you gave to us and to this world. Rest in peace.

Elaine's first eagle ray

Elaine saw her first spotted eagle ray yesterday. We were snorkeling with some off-the-island friends at Wishing Well. This little guy - it was a juvenile - swam around us for quite a while.

I tried to upload a video of the ray but blogspot was having none of it. So the video is over on Youtube. You can also click on the photo. It is a link to the video also.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chris and Heather's wedding

Our friends (through our breakfast club partners Courtney and Christine) Chris and Heather got married on the beach at Shacks yesterday. The reception was at Villa Shacks, our friend Mark's place on the beach.

I don't normally photograph weddings. They are a pain. With one exception I only do photographs for friends and the photos are my wedding gift to the bride and groom. This is one of my favorites of Chris and Heather. They haven't seen any of the photos yet. I hope they like them.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spot the frogfish

While frogfish are unusual anywhere, the longlure frogfish is the most common. Like this little guy they tend to hide among like-colored sponges, relying on really effective camouflage for protection. They rarely move unless they are disturbed and a difficult to spot unless they move. They are usually found in water between 10 and 60 feet. This guy was at about 12 feet.

My good friend and favorite dive buddy Darryl is really good at finding things like this. Once he found this guy he looked around and found another one nearby. Since they don't move much, we've gone to the same spot and found them several times.

Which brings up a question: Did these guys just get here or have they been here a long time and we just haven't seen them. We dive this particular site pretty often but we usually drop straight to about 25-30 feet. It is possible these guys just arrived a week or so ago. It is equally possible they've been here a while and we just cluelessly swam right  past them.

But now that we know they are there, they are a regular "stop" on our dives at this site.

Monday, August 12, 2013

5k Color Run

Ola Lola's was closed Sunday so we could take our entire crew plus Suzanne, Alex, Brian and Carrina to the Breast Cancer 5k Color Run in San Juan. This is the crew after 3 miles of sweating and running through clouds of  color thrown at us and dumped on us. We all had a great time for a great cause. Despite our best efforts, most of us still have color to wear to work today.

The crew is already talking about signing up for the 5k Zombie Run.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A non-dive

We tried to dive outside at Shacks yesterday with four inexperienced divers. It was pretty rough and wavy and visibility was terrible following a couple of torrential downpours Thursday night. We all swam out to Blue Hole where we decided it wasn't safe to continue, that with the poor visibility it would be very difficult to stay together. At some of our dive sites - Crashboat or Natural, for example - if the group gets separated, it pretty easy to surface and find your way back to shore. The outside at Shacks isn't like that. If you're on the outside and don't know the very specific ways back in, you're in trouble. So we abandoned that dive and swam back in, .

Because it was Friday morning and I had to be ready to open Ola Lola's, my time and options were limited. Instead of diving I came back and cut grass. Darryl and the others went to Natural and Crashboat and had two great dives with 60 - 70 foot visibility. Sometimes Mother Ocean just plays with your head.

My next shot at diving will probably be Monday. Here's hoping for cleaner waters.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Swimming horses

Saturday morning, when I came back from running our usual pre-opening errands, Elaine and Marie were off riding KTJ and Zip. Since KTJ has a sore leg and/or hoof, I thought they just went to the beach. Chocolate looked so forlorn, I decided to join them. Thinking I was just going to the beach to swim - not really for a ride. I couldn't find the nylon hackamore I usually use with Choco (turns out Elaine had it on KTJ) so I just grabbed a  halter with a lead rope attached to both sides and a bareback pad. I mounted up and took off for the beach.

For a lot of people - our good friend Sam, for example - this is no big deal. For me it's HUGE!

Elaine and Marie were riding back toward home as I came over the dune. Elaine was so shocked to see me on Choco, bareback, and with just a halter she almost fell off KTJ.

So I've raised my own bar. Yesterday when we took KTJ, Chocolate and Zip for a dip in the ocean - always always always a fun adventure - I rode Choco bareback and just a halter.

I'm having fun with it but holy cats am I sore! You use your legs very differently when riding bareback than you do with a saddle. And Chocolate has a terrible bareback back. And then there is that whole guy anatomy thing. Trotting with no saddle and stirrups to help post is probably banned by some Geneva convention as a form of torture.

But it was fun and I will do it again.

I added a little twist to the adventure.