A better Mastercard diver than Master Diver

Our last full day in Aruba.  It was a day filled with diving.  We met at the dive shop at 8:00.  Island time was a little closer to our clock today.  Again, the family from Costa Rica was diving with us.  We were also joined by a guy from Maine.  He and his family were staying at the same resort as us.  The rest of his family had never been diving, so they were attending a training this morning and would join us on the afternoon dive. 

We arrived at the boat, got our equipment set again, and got ready for another dive.  The first dive of the day we were diving a plane wreck.  I felt good on the boat and getting into the water.  We descended and started exploring.  Again we saw a lot of different kinds of fish.  We got to the wreck and explored it a little.  We went inside, which I didn’t like at all.  I’m not usually claustrophobic, but I felt like I couldn’t breathe when I was inside the plane.  There was just something too weird about being under water and inside a plane.  I was relieved when I exited.  On top of the wreck were 2 huge sea stars.  They had long tentacles with huge spines.  It was an awesome sight.

We ascended and boarded the boat once again.  I felt great.  No signs of sea sickness at all.  Then… BOOM!!  Out of nowhere, the heaves began.  Once again, I was hanging face-first over the side of the boat.  Blah!  Other than feeling embarrassed, I felt just fine after the heaves.  I don’t know why I got sick.  Honestly. 

We had a short boat ride to our next dive.  I had just enough time to get my equipment back on (thanks to Jim for getting my tank switched and my equipment all set for me) before we got to the dive site.  There was no way I was staying on the boat.  I didn’t care if I threw up in my regulator, I was going on this dive!  Some may say that it was a stubborn thing to do, I say it was my frugality.  I paid for that dive and I wasn’t going to waste that money.

This time we dove another reef.  Again we saw some great things.  We saw a sea turtle. That, alone, made it worth going on this dive.  Before we knew it, time was up again.  It was time to get back on the boat.  Once again I boarded, dumped my equipment and sat down feeling fine.  Once again…BOOM… heaves hit!  Once again, I was face-first over the boat!  UGH UGH UGH!!!  Oh well.  The experience under the water was worth the discomfort above it.

We finished our dive and made plans for the afternoon.  Jim and I were supposed to dive again, but I decided that since I’d had 3 strikes, I was out.  I didn’t feel as bad skipping the last dive since the 4th dive was free with the purchase of 3.  Jim wanted to dive the 4th time, so we got some lunch and I dropped him off at the dive shop.  I went back to the resort, got cleaned up, and went to town to walk around and do a little shopping.  

I spent a couple hours enjoying the atmosphere in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba.  I love the architecture.  As I wandered down the markets, and in and out of the shops, I watched people and listened to their speech.  I was fascinated by the variety of languages I heard.  There was Spanish, Dutch, French, Papiamento (the language of Aruba) and a little English.  It got me thinking about how I wished I had been exposed to more languages as I grew up.  Although I took a few years of French in jr. high, high school and college, I am certainly not bi-lingual, let alone multi-lingual as are most people in Aruba.  There are many, many great things about the US, but growing up knowing only 1 language is not one of them.

I wandered back to the pier to wait for the dive boat to return.  It didn’t take long for me to see the boat coming in.  I walked over to meet Jim.  We got his equipment off the boat, and the dive master said to me, “He told me you are the Mastercard diver!”  I guess that’s true since shopping didn’t make me throw up!  LOL!!

Jim and I wandered around town, did a bit of shopping, then had dinner at The Paddock.  This is a really cute little restaurant right on the bay and main street.  The outside walls are painted black and white like a cow.  There’s a cow on the roof, as well as a car!  There’s also a No Parking – Snow Emergency sign outside.  As I walked by and took a picture of this sign, a guy said, there will be snow here next week.  Ha Ha… good one!  Inside the Paddock is just as interesting.  Above the bar, the wall is covered in signed bills from all over the world.  On the ceiling, t-shirts are tacked up.  It’s really a cute little place… and the food is pretty good too, though their idea of nachos and mine don’t really match.

We picked up a few souvenirs before the shops closed then headed back to our resort. We took one last walk on the beach before returning to our room. It is hard to go to bed knowing we will be leaving this beautiful place tomorrow. However, it will be nice to be home sweet home. 


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