Ahhhh…. Home sweet home back in the beautiful Florida Keys. That is if you can call “beautiful” a balmy 54 degrees and freezing cold rain. As I sit here on the couch wrapped in a blanket, fully clothed, drinking hot beverages and dreaming of being back in Fiji's gorgeous summer weather, I wonder where the past 3 1/2 weeks went and why there's a Christmas tree in my living room. Oh wait, it's December. When did that happen? I guess I lost a few more nights in Vegas and Fiji than I realized!
DEMA was great this year not just for ScubaRadio, but seemingly for the entire industry. It was my first time representing ScubaRadio and it was so much fun! It was a little awkward seeing almost life-size standup pictures of myself around the show advertising an Oceanic Wetsuit, but I have to admit, it was kind of neat at the same time. (Although coming home to it standing in my house was even more awkward!) And of course, it's so great to see all of those wonderful divers that I've met over the past year. It's really quite impressive how quickly divers can go from being an acquaintance to great friends. I think that's always been one of my main reasons for loving this industry – the diver bond – and DEMA is a perfect place to see proof of that. Despite our busy schedule, we still found time to meet at the Hilton Bar for cocktail hour (or hourS to be more exact.) During the last day of the DEMA show, we pulled an early disappearing act to head to the airport for the beginning of our journey to FIJI!!
I never thought I'd be so lucky as to go to Fiji twice within 6 months. Miracles do happen! We arrived safely after our long and interesting journey all the way to Matava's Eco Resort on the island of Kadavu. The resort is very intimate with some wonderful dives to offer. I even got to see my first Manta!! Simply majestic. We should ask Greg the DM how he scared the s*** out of one… literally. hahah!
I guess mermaids aren't the only ones who get a little nervous when Greg's at the operating end of a camera. We got him back for all of those cold waterfall photo shoots and hanging us up by the tail when we came up with a new idea…. “Everything you make us do for pictures – you can do too.” Muwhahah (evil laugh).
We even got to celebrate “Tanksgiving” with a real turkey and all (which is extremely hard and expensive to get to Fiji). And of course there were a few Turkey Day Cocktails with great company. Plus, they even gave us an early Christmas present of handmade coconut bras (or Kava Bras as Greg likes to call them)!
We got off the island of Kadavu just in the nick of time before a tropical cyclone hit and grounded all flights for 2 days. We headed back to the main island of Viti Levu and drove around to Raki Raki for more than a week of fun at Volivoli Beach Resort. We were welcomed with open arms by the Darling Family and some absolutely world class diving. Not to mention a pool bar where we created a new drink, the Volivoli Bomb! You'll have to go and ask for one to find out what's in it. But believe me… it does the trick.
Once again, Greg the Evil Divemaster tried his best to bring down the mermaids with weapons such as Chicken Fights in the pool, Jack Daniels, Fiji Bitter Beer, potent daiquiris and Volivoli Bombs, but Mermaid Tiffany and I survived! I think we only owe this to the Darling Family. They kept his liver occupied so he had less time to focus on punishing ours. We even recorded a live and amazing version of The Scuba Cowboy's new song, The Liver Song – Can I Borrow Your Liver, which was inspired by Greg while in Grenada. I'm sure it'll air sometime soon on ScubaRadio, so make sure you listen in for that. Also, you can hear the details of our amazing 2 1/2 week adventure on the shows which are already posted in the archives ready for you to download.
With my side of the story now having been stated, it's now time to go back to my so called “real world” of teaching scuba and trying to stay warm throughout our Florida Keys winter until our next ScubaRadio adventure! (I know, woe is me…)