Thursday, May 14, 2015

Would you like fries with that?

This is post that really should have been written a couple of months ago. Elaine retired from the kitchen in February. Our good friends Danny and Maria took over running the Ola Lola's kitchen. After eight years of totally avoiding deep fryers - staples of many restaurant kitchens here - we gave in to Danny's request to put one in.

So far we're very happy with it! Our house doesn't smell like oil which was one of our fears. So far we haven't had an oil fire (another fear) so our house is still here to not smell like oil.

And for the first time, we offer FRIES with our burgers. Danny has also added fish tacos and fish sandwiches to the menu.

Danny and Maria are no strangers to the Isabela/Aguadilla restaurant scene. Danny worked for several years with one of the best chefs in the area before they opened their own restaurant, Nomadas. Since he closed Nomadas, Danny has worked and/or been in charge of several restaurant kitchens. 

And Elaine in "retirement?" Well, not really. She's working her tail off, just at other things. One of the biggest is a non-profit she started called Calorcito pal Corazon (Warmth for the Heart). More about that soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Diving the Rincon Wall

Rincon, about 45 minutes south of us, is best known for it's surf. Turns out there's some pretty good diving there too.

There is a "wall" dive just off-shore on the south side of Rincon, Yesterday we made the trek to Ricon to dive the wall. 

We planned to go at the same spot we did last time. It's quite a kick-out over some pretty uninteresting sand to get to the reef and the top of the wall. But - somebody forgot to take weights. (That's another fairly unintersting story.)  So we jumped back in the truck and headed for the local dive shop to borrow weights.

We talked to our friend Brenda at Rincon Diving and Snorkeling and she suggested we enter the water a bit further down  Brenda showed on a map: the top of the wall is much closer to shore at the site farther south. A shorter swim-out (and thus back) meant more time on the wall!

The Rincon Wall is interesting. At the point we entered, the top of the wall is about 35 feet deep. In contrast, the top of the wall at the "Blue House," the entry point further north, is at about 65 feet. The "big" wall way south off La Parguera starts at about 75 feet.

Why does this matter? In scuba diving depth limits your time under water because of both air consumption (you use more air from your tank when you go deeper) and nitrogen saturation (your body absorbs more nitrogen at greater depths). Getting the full effect of diving on a wall at shallower depths means you can safely enjoy it longer. The Rincon Wall extends to depths of over 120 feet but you don't have to dive anywhere near that deep to enjoy it. You can see more photos from this dive on our Flickr page.

The reef along the wall is truly amazing. Hard corals, soft corals (like seafans), tube sponges (above) and barrel sponges provide food and hiding places for many many species of fish.

This is only the second time we've been there. It's not as easy as our local dives which are at most 15 minutes drive from here. But when the conditions are right, it's a great alternative. You can bet this won't be the last time we dive there.