Wow. Hey! Hi, Guys. Hi! Hi. I’m Grin! You know, Sonrisa’s dinghy sidekick? Oh, I’m just so excited to write this post. I’ve waited my whooooooole life to write a blog post! Wow. Finally!
Okay, okay. So, a lawyer, a doctor and a physicist walk into a bar…
Sigh. Fine. Okay. (Sonrisa says I have to stick to the point.)
What was my point? mmmm…..I had a point - Oh yeah! Grinboat Dive Adventures!
I have also waited my whooooooooooole life to become Grin, Oddgodfrey’s Grinboat Dive Adventure boat! I mean, I love adventures. I love them so much, I could eat an adventure. I really hated watching Andrew and Leslie go with other dive boats here and there and everywhere last year. They would tie me up next to Sonrisa’s stern and say “Be good, Grin. We’ll be back in a while.” Then some other boat with dive gear and a dive guide would show up and whisk them away. Why don’t I get to go, too? I love adventures!
Andrew and Leslie promised me they would buy me dive gear for Christmas so I could take them diving. And they did! When they returned, they lugged tanks, BCDs, regulators, watches on board Sonrisa…all for me! I couldn’t wait to use them. But, as soon as we got back in the water, they called Riki and went diving in Tin Can again without me. What gives?
They went diving with Colin, and I had to wait by the Savusavu dock all day.
They went diving with Mariane in Viani Bay, and snorkeling with Jack. That day, I stayed tied up to Jack’s dinghy for hours and hours.
They went diving in a big boat with 12 other people at the Manta Ray Dive Resort in the Yasawas, leaving Sonrisa and me to wait all day long. I hate waiting.
…what? Uhg. Fine. (Sonrisa says I sound ridiculous when pouting.)
Where was I…oh! Yes. So, after we visited the village, we sailed onward to the Mamanuca Islands. And it was here, I finally had my big debut!
Upon our arrival in Musket Cove, we reunited with the friends on UnWind. I am still trailing behind Sonrisa when my friend UnWindjae (Afrikanner/Dutch for “Little Unwind” and pronounced “UnWindKEY”) putters past me and floats up next to Sonrisa’s hull. UnWindjae is carrying Niels, Margaret and two dive tanks. What is she doing with those dive tanks? I wonder. I strain to hear what is going on.
“Hello!” Niels chimes as Andrew and Leslie climb on deck. I overhear that there is a former cruiser operating a dive company on Musket Cove and he is happy to fill dive tanks for $20FJ. “We are planning to get our tanks filled, and maybe tomorrow go to dive the pinnacle about a mile out on the reef.” Neils continues.
“Yes, yes, let’s go, too!” I think. I close my eyes and if I had fingers I would have crossed them for good luck….”com’mon, please, please, please, plllleeeeeaasssse,” I whisper under my breath.
“Let’s do it!” Leslie says.
I grasp my fist and hiss “Yeesssssss!” Quietly, though, so Leslie can’t hear me and change her mind. Victory. My big day. I am a dive adventure boat!
Andrew is up early the next morning. He hands me my tanks and gear and extra fuel, and pretty soon, I am sitting a bit lower in the water.
I bounce with excitement on my tether, but Sonrisa tells me to calm down. “Calm down??? It’s my big debut!”
“You had better behave or you won’t get the chance to go again.” She admonishes me, the old lady. Pssshaaaw! I’m going to be the BEST DIVE BOAT IN THE WORLD!
UnWindjae arrives about an hour later, and we are all ready. Kitty revs on my stern and off we go. UnWindjae has a 15 horse power outboard, so she can go very fast. Andrew pushes Kitty to her max, and I climb up on UnWindjae’s stern wake. Riding on top of the curl; I can keep up so long as they don’t zip away too fast.
“What are you doing?” UnWindjae yells back over the hum of her motor.
“What? I’m SURFING!” I yell back. “This is so rad,” I think as we speed along. UnWindjae keeps a wary eye on me, not sure what she thinks about me following on top of her wake. But this is nothing, you should see me surf the ocean swell behind Sonrisa! Leslie takes pictures, Andrew feathers Kitty’s throttle to keep us on just the right curve of the wave until soon enough we reach the pinnacle.
A much bigger dive boat is already tied up to the buoy, so I nudge my bow next to hers. “Hey, mind if I share your buoy?” I wink at her. She moves over to give me room; I think she likes me.
“So, what floats your boat?” I ask just as my lady friend scuttles away to make more room for UnWindjae to float between she and I. Rats.
Andrew and Leslie put together my dive gear, inflate the BCDs and plop over my edge. Soon, all five of the divers in my group are ready to descend. I watch them slip beneath the surface with the warm sun lighting an 80 foot tall coral pinnacle. Silver fish with a bright blue stripe and bright blue tails swirl in a spiral. The pinnacle is lined with soft coral, strange purple cups, and millions of colorful fish. I see Andrew and Leslie’s fins disappear beneath the pinnacle, until they pop out the other side. Cool! A swim through!
My new girlfriend’s divers return, she gathers them up then takes off. I wave goodbye, then return to debating American politics with UnWindjae. All anyone wants to talk about these days…
My friends finish their dive, climb aboard, and we chug back to the anchorage. Success! Soon, UnWindjae and I are tied up behind UnWind while everyone enjoys coffee and chocolate cake to celebrate our successful dive. I love chocolate cake!
When we return to Sonrisa, she looks at us nervously. “How’d it go?”
“I met someboaty cute!”
Sonrisa just looks sideways at me. “I meant the dive.”
Oh, great. It went great! We are going again tomorrow!
We change clothes and head back in to shore for drinks at the yacht club pool (Andrew and Leslie are now lifetime members of the Musket Cove Yacht Club). I mingle with all the dinghies at the dock while Andrew and Leslie eat pizza and watch Fijian ladies shake their hips, the men toss machetes, and the grand finale: fire dancing. We’re having a grand ole time.
The next day, I ride along in Sonrisa’s wake until we reach a new anchorage. Andrew fills me up with dive gear again and soon enough we are bouncing along to a new dive site: Mushroom Reef. This dive is a little more difficult than yesterday’s dive. Ocean swell is sneaking into the reef and curling over right where we are going to park. We tie up to the buoy, and UnWindjae looks at me a little uncertain. “Are you sure about this, Grin?”
Andrew jumps in and checks the current. It’s much less strong than it would seem from the surface, so he gives us the thumbs up. “Yep, we will be fine.” I nestle close to UnWindjae and together, we point our noses toward the incoming swell. Once we get into a rhythm, we are just fine.
The air in our divers’ vests gurgle as they drop below the surface. We watch them wander off and around the corner. “I hope they can find their way back,” UnWindjae says to me. Yesterday was easy, they stayed right below us, so I didn’t worry at all. Today, I’m counting time, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes…Ohhh, Sonrisa will be so mad at me if I lose them. I can’t go get them. I’m tied up to this buoy, so there isn’t really much I can do but wait. “They will find us, don’t you worry.” 30 minutes, 40 minutes….any minute now I should be able to see them. At 42 minutes, I see Neils lead the way through a crevice in the reef right next to the buoy tether.
Their bubbles tickle our bottoms as they complete their safety stop, just 3 meters below us. They climb aboard and we start the motor back. The wind and waves are up now, and UnWindjae kicks up giant splashes that soak Neils and Margret as we motor back. Concentrating so hard on making it through the waves, she leaves me in her dust. Kitty and I splash along, and I can see Sonrisa watching us approach in a heaving ball of spray.
When we tie up to Sonrisa’s side, Kitty is still huffing and puffing. She sits at my stern trying to catch her breath. “That. Was. EPIC!” I exclaim. “Andrew, Leslie, would you like me to stamp your log book?”