Friday, June 15, 2018

NOW Friday, June 15


On Thursday Elaine, Marie and I did my traditional birthday dive (even though my birthday isn't until Saturday). This was my first time in the water since I broke my wrist. And, it was the first time diving the reef at Natural since Hurricane Maria.

I've heard from other divers that Natural was pretty devastated and they weren't wrong. Even now, nine months after the hurricane, the reef looks barren to those of us who knew it before. Most - but not all - the huge barrel sponges are gone as are soft fan corals and the little lavender vase sponges. We did find a couple starting to make a comeback, though.

There are new things we don't usually see at Natural taking up residence, like these anemones.

Tiny fish, like the gobys and the little blue chromis love the anemones. We saw several of them.

It was rare to see sea urchins at Natural. The newly exposed crevices in the rocks, uncovered when the sand washed away in the hurricane, are home to gazillions of sea urchins. That's bad news for the feet but good news for the reef.

And other life is returning as well like this squirrelfish and scorpion fish.

Natural, like Crashboat, is going to be fun to dive and watch over the next few years as Mother Ocean rejuvenates the reef. Can't wait to watch!

NOW Friday, June 15

Wow - a month since my last post. Sorry about that. Here are some updates on what's happened in the last month.

The hand is doing much better. I'm actually typing (and correcting) with two hands now. There is still some swelling and tenderness but overall it is much improved.

Much of  our time in the last month was spent writing and rewriting contracts, getting our new place ready to move into and our much-loved beach house and bar ready for us to move out of and the new owners to move into.

Say what?

Meet the new owners of Ola Lola's, Stephanie LaVake and Jordan Noie - or Jordan Noie and Stephanie LaVake if you're looking at the photo below.

They are a very cool pair of foodies and drinkies from Wisconsin(!) and you're gonna love 'em! We do already.

We are moving into a new house across Isabela. Okay, it's not our beach house, it is farther from the beach. But it is coming with 22 acres of adjacent land - a home for us and for the horses. Neither the house nor the yard nor the property were cleaned up after Hurricane Maria so there is a ton of work. We've done a lot already but there is always more to do. Before we can move the horses, we have to fence the property and build a corral. It may be September before the horses get there. Plus, the house and land are less than a block away from the land where we are setting up the therapeutic riding program. It's a whole lot of win-win for people and animals.

Today is day 15 of the 2018 hurricane season. Up until June 1, we were counting the days since Hurricane Maria. Now we're counting the days of the new season without a hurricane. Sorta like the "number of days without a lost-time accident" counter is factories. So far, 15 days and counting.

More coming soon!