December 27, 2011

My 2011 in diving

Basically I'm satisfied because at least some dives. Certainly in the beginning of the year I dreamed of trips to new, exotic places but nowadays I have much more plans than travels. I would like to spend a few weeks in the Caribbean for a long time but sadly we simply couldn't afford even Dominican Republic. I learned a lot about the country, the best resorts, the most exciting dive sites and- I stayed home.

Later we went to the usual Adriatic round trip. But I had an unusual experience: we were invited to a week long liveaboard trip to the Kamelija yacht. We had the chance to dive places where I hadn't been before because they are far from the mainland. I had to realize how much exciting spots can be in Croatia with abundant sea life. I had many dives in different islands and I know what to expect. I know it's really special to see purple and yellow gorgonians at 25 meters depth. To find huge scorpionfish and crabs. Morays are very rare too. And on this liveaboard trip I saw all of these in a single spot- in a cavern there wasn't one but two morays! The Kamelija was one of the best boats I've been to, not too large with all the important facilities and a fantastic cook. I really loved it.

In the summer we organized a special underwater photography trip the Egyptian Red Sea. We rented the whole Cassiopeia boat, a lot of photographers joined us and we made a shootout competition for them. Most of the Egyptian liveaboard routes go to the offshore reefs while we stayed close to shore. We had different plans. We looked for shallow but spectacular places which are safe for more than a dozen photographers. We had an awesome trip, our friends took a lot of great pics, so next year hopefully we can organize a similar trip again.

Late summer I've been to Croatia again but this time as an ordinary tourist. It was a great experience to dive the Adriatic when its water is much warmer. I didn't miss my drysuit, it was nice to dive without any assignments. I tried to make some photos and enjoyed diving in itself. I loved that experience. In the last few years the Croatian trips meant not only enjoyment but work as well. I needed these trips to feel the beauty of Adriatic diving again. It's funny to go back the same old place and realize how lucky am I when I can spend so much time there.

And... That's all, folks. I had some nice dives and because of the actual crisis I don't have too much plans for 2012. Adriatic, again, Red Sea, again, a visit to Brussels and Nemo33- for the third time. I don't dream about the Caribbean or Asia. If I can go I will if I can't I won't. Life is simple as diving: you know the rules and you have to decide "what, where and how" within your boundaries. Even a fairly typical year can bring a bunch of surprises if you really try to look for them. That is why I am satisfied with my 2011.

How about you?

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