So Tuesday we decided to take an overcast morning and go into Westerly to Avi’s shop to pick up some tanks for diving. We have found with many of the dive groups, you just have to have your own or you run into having to go to a shop to rent them prior to the dive and after. Also, we are really starting to explore this whole “walking in” option with many dive sites where you don’t even need a boat to explore! Fort Wetherill in Jamestown is just one of those sites. We had gone once before with a family member of hubsters, so we were familiar with the site.
2 dive sites here. The left and right cove. The left cove has a small goat path down to the water. The right cove has a boat ramp entry, can get busy so yield to boats. Both coves have okay viz. (3-10 feet) and have pretty good life. Averages 5 feet but classes frequently drop the viz to less than 5, still plenty of room though to get away from groups. Flounder, fish, starfish, crabs, lobster, eel grass. I believe the left cove along the right wall is the best of the two. Porta potties. Easy and plentiful parking.
After entering the water and setting the buoy up to mark above the water our movement below the water, we began to submerge. Well I would say, DH submerged, I floated struggling against the buoyancy of a 7mm suit and not enough weight in my BCD to get me down. After a failed attempt to get down and stay down we went back to the enterance and DH searched the ground for rocks to add to my BCD pockets. (Something about having your husband put rocks in your pockets just struck me as wrong… LOL) finally having enough weight to submerge we started off – hand in hand we started exploring. I was disapointed to find that the visibility once again was only about 5 feet. You really had to stay to the left of the cove to keep the rocks visible and not get disoriented with where you were. We had to pop up once to figure it out once we went around the penninsula.
Even with the low visibility during our dive we saw plenty of fish, crab, and even a starfish or two! But at one point during our dive, I had a moment of sheer panic. DH had let go of my hand, checking direction or looking at his computer. Not sure what but I was swimming forward and we had lost a little feel of the land to the left as we came around the penninsula. I was starting to get that weird feeling I sometimes get when there really isn’t much in your site that makes any of the green water look different, until in front of me, a dark shape started forming.
As I came closer the shape started to take form, and it looked like … I shit you not … a gigantic lobster at the bottom of the ocean!! I started rapidly peddling my arms trying to push myself away from the “lobstah” in front of me and felt hubster above me, I looked up frantically pointing with wide eyes as he gave me a “What’s up crazy lady??” look through his mask lenses. Finally I gave him the lets go up signal, and we moved up to the surface (at this point we were only about 15-20 feet, so no lectures on safety stops please) as we broke the surface I started babbling about a Lobstah Monstah!
I’m like “holy shit, its this big at the bottom of the…” as I look to the right of me a bobbing buoy marking a lobster trap splashed about.
My husband started laughing… “a WHAT?!?” I realized I’d let my imagination take over and as he put his regulator back in to go down to take a look at this “Monster Lobster” I put my face back in the water to watch his progress down the rope. Coming back up he was laughing, yup there was an innocent tasty lobster in the trap, but what I had seen was the trap, not the gigantic lobster monster my mind came up with. Note to self… ;)
Our dive complete we floated into the “beach” which really was a bunch of rocks, so as soon as I could get to a standing level in the water I took off my fins and made my way carefully to the shore. It definently is a lot easier to move with an air tank strapped to your back in the water than it is to hike the thing on your back up a hill. Oh yea and remember those rocks in my pockets?
As we were cleaning gear and putting things back in the Jeep a car pulled up with a couple in the front, rolling down the window the man asked us for directions to the Juliett lighthouse. When my husband walked over to explain it we were both a little surprised to see the man pull out and unfold a map. An actual paper map! After directions were given they decided to park and the wife went off snapping pictures, as the husband stayed and chatted with us a bit. Explaining their trip was a bucket list adventure to see sites of the East Coast we swapped some tales of travel. As he asked us about dives and we talked a little more I’ll never forget one of his last comments to me:
“Well here you both are out DOING things, and here we are just driving around taking pictures of it.”
I don’t know that I would look at it that way – at least they were both out and seeing it! So many people never leave their little piece of the planet. I’m glad we are not like that:
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too.
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
So after a fun weekend with the cottages filled with family, we awoke Monday morning to a silent still that normally doesn’t happen. This would be an unusual week, a quiet week. So to start our morning out right? My Hubster taught me to go CLAMMIN!
What is this you say? WELL… you put on a dive mask and snorkel, make sure you are wearing some beach shoes/ Teva’s to protect your feet, put a bag on your chest to put the clams in and walk into the pond. The tide was coming in so we went out about to waist level. Here hubby gave me instructions, you put your face in the water and scan the bottom of the pond. Finding a few shells you should move around rocks and generally paw the ground like a dog digging a hole stirring up the bottom of the pond and revealing the hidden clam shells.
I couldn’t believe the number of little crab doing their side scuttle to get away from me as I pawed at the floor of the pond, stirring up the sand and debri. A few sad little clam shells later I unearthed a nice big group of rather large shells! VICTORY! I stood up all proud of myself to find my husband bent over pawing away at another spot. I started walking about with my face in the water, being pushed over a few times with the tide. One time as I pawed away I pulled up a clam to find a crab clinging to it with one claw while the other waved about at me in anger! “MY CLAM!” he seemed to say. Dropping the shell I found myself almost laughing into my snorkel as I moved onto bigger and better clams.
We had a pretty successful haul, even found an old trap someone had placed a bunch of clam shells to lure in lobsters.
The rest of the day was spent riding our bikes up to Watch Hill… 7 miles and I have no idea what went wrong with my brakes but I couldn’t catch a break. I had issues shifting my bike felt like I was dragging a 25 pound weight behind me. I couldn’t get any speed. As we came into Watch Hill my legs were burning. I was so greatful to park my bike and have DH ask me if I wanted ice cream… YES! As I finished off my water bottle (I really need to get two bottles attached to my bike).
So after enjoying our refreshing treat, we used my cell to Google a local bike shop and found Brumble Bikes in Westerly. If you ever need your bike repaired and you are in that area? YOU must go. These gents are great. Amos really knew his stuff and was able to fix my brakes while I waited. The shifting of gears? I road my bike home – another frustrating 7 mile adventure, while I was surprising DH with my increase in speed I was still irritated to have some of my gears just never catch. I called Amos when I got back to the point and scheduled to bring my bike back and drop it off for full repairs. Yes they were that good. All in all the 3 rides were approximately 7 miles each, 21 miles total in a day. Not bad. My back was a little toasty, my legs a little jelly, but it was awesome to ride with the salt air.
On the way back to the cottages, I had an amazing moment happen. As I was peddling, this little baby deer (A DOE!) jumped out of the bushes in front of me. The sweetest facial expression and all gangly legs awkward as she sat there, I slowed down making eye contact with her as she peered up at me … I swear I could hear “Are you my Mommy?!?” As she gazed, then the recognition that I was not one of her bunch as she startled and bounded back into the brush. So STINKING CUTE! But it was one of those life slow motion moments, and as I sped up I realized I had tears in my eyes. I LOVE my life.
In all the years that I have been to Westerly RI, I rarely leave the point or the main beaches of Weekapaug. I’ve had a visit or to to Watch Hill to enjoy the beautiful sailboats and get an ice cream, and last visit we actually did go out on a dive at Fort Wetherill State Park, taking photos of Point Judith lighthouse.
But this year we really endeavored to be active and out and about. We brought our golf clubs, dive gear, and bikes. We would not be lumps on the point this adventure.
We drove up Saturday and actually made great time. Arriving at the point with our rented MWR A-Frame camper in tow. We would not be sleeping in a tent this time, nor fighting to find a bed in one of the two cottages. The 4th of July week with the family can be pretty hectic with several generations descending on the point.
It was shortly after getting the camper up, and I had sheets on the bed and hike packs loaded into the camper that we had our first dip in Winnapaug Pond. I hate calling it a pond, I know that is what it is, but the pond isn’t some stale stand alone fresh water froggy home. The pond at the point is an inlet created from the ocean, every morning and afternoon incoming tides replenish the pond with fresh salt water from the ocean – its my favorite part of the day to walk up the sand banks and float back to the cottage.
Which if you had told me 10 years ago on my first visit that I would feel that way? I would have told you you were crazy. The sea shells and crabs hiding in the sea weed freaked me right the hell out. But now? I wouldn’t give up that feeling of joy I get from floating in salt water, the fear I feel of the ocean is healthy now. I even put on my mask and went swimming under the water for the first time seeing the floor of the pond and how much life is living there.
We enjoyed catching up with family and a fire pit that night, and I also enjoyed being able to sneak off to the silence of our camper and enjoy a fantastic night of sleep with the salt air breezing into our windows.
The next morning we loaded golf clubs into the Jeep and followed his Dad and Brother to the golf course, loading up our carts we headed out for 18 holes. I love playing golf with my DIL. He gives me the same advice, and only after watching me lift my head or putt the ball horribly.
“Keep your head down and don’t take your eye off the ball”
Some games easier said than done. It was a good course, we enjoyed a much needed lunch at the clubhouse before we returned to the point, put on our swimsuits and enjoyed splashing with the cousins on the high tide as the sun approached the horizon.
A fabulous welcome to the beachy life. We would be there from the 28th of June to the 4th of July… the adventure continues.
I have been busy once again – not connected to the net. I pushed pics on FB and Instagram but honestly spent my time biking, golfing, diving, and swimming! It was a fabulous break from work which has been traveling at warp speed. I’ve been trying to keep up reading some of my favorite WordPress posts as well as actually finishing my first book of the summer!
I will settle in and write up a few of my adventures this week but for now? I’m off to golf and enjoy the wonderful weather that we are having. We spent our 4th of July driving home from RI away from the Hurricane thunderstorms created so we could enjoy the sunny golf courses here at home. I hope you all had a fabulous day of celebration, and while you enjoy your BBQ’s and fireworks, remember why we celebrate.
What a fabulous day! Seriously, some days are good, some are great, today? FABULOUS. We drove over the border and joined in on a 1400 dive with the Thousand Island Pleasure Diving, a boat company that runs dive boats on the St. Lawrence from Caigers. With all of our new gear ready to go out, we joined up with the boat and found a group of 5 other gentleman from Toronto, York Region Scuba group, already loading up their equipment as well.
The ride out to the first dive site was filled with equipment checks, attaching our BCD (Buoyency Control Device) to the tanks that we had picked up from the Dive Tech shop. And of course the fun dance of sliding into a full 7mm wetsuit, complete with boots, gloves, and hood (well gloves and hood for me – DH is a polar bear). I say sliding and its more like trying to shove your body into a full body ‘er… ummm – condom. It’s a real fun time watching others, but a pain in the ass doing it yourself, the hood especially. I think I lost a thousand strands of hair pulling it off.
Our first drive would be a drift dive along the right side of Ash Island, our first drift dive. From head to to looking like a baby seal with pink fins, I stepped off of the back of the boat and went in. Expecting my normal panic to settle in I was happy to find there was little to adjust or become relaxed with and as soon as DH and I were set we began to release the air from our BCD and submerge. He kept eye contact with me and watched for me to struggle, I had to keep giving him the OK sign to let him know I was actually settling in! The water temperature an initial shock to the seams of my suit didn’t seem to effect us either as our body heat warmed the small streams of water caught between our skin and suit as we moved.
River dives are way different, the green water reflections create a more “Swamp Monster” view and there are no colorful fish to dazzle your view. But there are hidden treasures as you float, the shells, barnacles on the rocks at the base of the island, small fish dart about the shadows, and off to the right. What was that? The bow a sunken barge appeared as a shadow, becoming clearer as we came in line with it. Our first sunken ship! I was so excited as DH and I exchanged looks and pointed. All to soon the 24 minutes of our dive, 112 feet the max depth and 62 degree water adventure came to an end. We came up right where we were supposed to at the end of the peninsula, our fellow divers and boat a welcome sight.
Hubster and I decided during our busy ass week that camping and getting away from it all was the plan to run with this weekend. Really no plan on the ‘where’ but we knew we wanted to be away from it all and have access to a canoe to enjoy the lake. We packed up the Jeep on Friday night and I was surprised to find I was actually awake Saturday morning before him. We took a little time enjoying coffee and scouting out some locations then headed to the “Unicorn” for breakfast before driving off to the Adirondacks.
It was a beautiful day, blue sky with puffy white clouds, the scent of pine started lacing the air as we drove (did I mention we had taken the Jeep down to the topless mode? Love the windy drive). We had decided to go with St. Regis Canoe Outfiters in Saranac that rented canoes and also provided transport if you needed it, and they matched us up with Floodwood Outpost as a lakeside location to pick up our canoe.
It was perfect. We were able to find a camp site right next to the lake and drop our gear before walking over to pick up our canoe. I grabbed the water, camera, bug spray and sun screen as Fletch carried the canoe to a drop point at the lakes edge. Thank goodness for our Teva’s as we stepped into the lake and got the canoe floating. After stepping in and getting settled on the seat with as much grace as I could muster, in just a few paddles we were gliding across the water.
I had been kayaking on the pond in Rhode Island several times, we’d gone kayaking on a lake in Australia, and also in Thailand. But the Adirondacks? Maybe it is just that untouched feeling, or the fact that we only saw maybe five other people out on canoes and kayaks? There were a few families on the shore camping, but really, just no one to break the silence of the water. Just the sound of your paddles as they glide through the water and maybe splash the surface.
The views were incredible, so many times the lakes surface would be perfectly still, creating a mirror reflection of the trees and clouds in the sky above it. It was so awe inspiring. Being in front DH told me to just paddle, either side was fine, he was doing the steering. Though many times I got a sigh, and “STOP STEERING” as evidently I was trying to be “helpful.” As we came to a creek, we found the current was going the opposite direction, so as he was steering us and paddling us through I kept having to use the paddle to push away from the large rocks and logs poking out from the banks. Finally he got out and just pulled the canoe through to a clearing before we continued on our way in a connecting lake.
As we paddled out in the open lake, a look to the left and right gave us a bit of a choice, DH said based on the map we would need to go to the left. I spotted a really cool rock island to the right I wanted to explore. So we went to the right. As we approached the smooth boulder surface, a seagul landed on a small boulder top breaking the water surface and started angrily squalling at us. Seeing as it was the only inhabitant to be seen, we ignored his angry squack and pulled up to the island. Pulling the canoe up a bit onto the bank we got out and climbed to the top. It wasn’t much of an island but it was still pretty neat to be on.
On our return we were very glad to have the Garmin, DH had created a “way point” in the Garmin to mark our entry into the water. Looking at the Garmin it looked like we had actually passed our campsite, but in fact, zooming in closer we found we were on the opposite side of the peninsula and we needed to go back. Believe me by then, we had been out in the water for about 3 hours? A tree was a tree, there were a few visual markers that we had used on our return, but it didn’t help us to take a right at the peninsula point not the left we ended up going down.
Sitting silently at a “dead end” I meekly asked “We have to paddle back??” to which my DH replied, well you can stay here but the beer is back that way. He’s adorable, and I must admit, motivating. After some paddling ( at one point I was paddling pretty hard hoping to help speed us up? But almost tipped us over by leaning to hard to the left!!) we were back to the point and rounded it to return to camp.
By that point we were both pretty hungry, starting a fire and getting our camp stove going were priority number one. DH went and got the Jeep from the park lot and pulled it closer to our site. Bringing with him a rescue turtle from the road.
We placed the turtle near a tree at our site and there it sat for quite some time as we set about getting our site settled in. Hubby played lumber jack with a hatchet from his emergency kit in the Jeep and shortly after had a small fire going in the pit the NY Parks have at their sites.
The campsites down this way are few and far apart, no neighbors can be heard. I have to admit in our 7 years of marriage, DH has tried to get me to camp at a spot like this, no electricity, no wi-fi (GASP!!) , no running water, and I’ve resisted. But as I set up, I had to admit, how much I loved it. We are enjoying the heat from the fire, my feet are finally dry, and I have my Teva’s propped up to dry the straps. The Mosquitos are out in FULL force. The sound of their buzzing can be quite distracting thank goodness for “Deet” or I’d be a 3 course meal to a mosquito family I am sure.
Time to put on a few layers for some warmth and enjoy the fire and time chatting with my man, as the wolf (or coyote maybe?) howls in beautiful song, we even heard another respond. Other sounds grew as the sun set:: a bird sings a 3 tone cry, bullfrogs in the lake make their deep base BAHhh-ROoomp call. Its lovely to just enjoy the sounds of nature as the sun has dropped from the sky and the moon pulls up.
An enjoyable treat, roasting marshmallows over the campfire. I learnt my husband knows the
perfect recipe for heating them up and getting them just ooey gooey toasted perfection.
#ishineyoushine prompts you during seven days to question yourself, or look at something you have done or want to do better. Liz has an activity or feedback that you can post and share. On Day 3, this came across my email:
“My experience being a woman – the love and the struggle”
Write out your answer, draw a picture or shoot a video and post to FB or Instagram with #ishineyoushine.
Being a woman is a gift, we are powerful, beautiful creatures. Let’s celebrate and own ALL of it together today, what you love and what you struggle with.
This might be one of those days you don’t feel like doing. You’ll mull it over all day. It might bring up some dark or uncomfortable stuff. Or maybe you’ll realize how far you’ve come…there’s a lot of possibilities.
~ Liz Dialto
And she is right. I did feel the need to take time with this one, mull it over. I think because I’ve done the #IShineYouShine challenge once before, this time I wanted to go deeper. I have already begun reading through some women’s responses and I love them all, but man did THIS really strike a chord for me:
I don’t want to lead a limited life. ~ EM
Oh hell no I don’t…. so as I read that line and felt my emotions roll up I realized that my being a woman is the biggest GIFT. And what I love about it? I feel like I have only just recently begun to appreciate.
The things I love about being a woman now? I so hated as a 20-30 year old, and certainly didn’t comprehend as a teenage girl. What I adore about being a woman is my ability to be emotional, and I don’t mean the crying that occurs a week before that time of the month, but my sensitive side that can tune into people. That part of me that tells my brain “Pssst, hey! Somethings up with them,” or “You can be yourself with that person,” or “Keep your guard up with that one.” That gut instinct that I chose to ignore for so long that I’m trying to listen to more and more.
I also find joy in play, and be a big goofball if I want. Oh yea, we lost the art of play when we become teenagers and too cool to be a dork. ;) Why!?! It’s so awesome! I guess that’s why I relish my ring workouts and TRX, Yoga Practice, or runs through the trails, and biking! These are all the things I did as a kid. They are FUN!
I love that I have a nurturing side. It feels good to me to do things for others and I’ve realized over the years that you don’t have to get a thank you for all that you do to feel satisfaction from it, as long as you are doing it because you WANT TO. And amazingly the moment I felt that? The more I just wanted to do things.
Okay so as much as there are so many things I adore about being a woman they also cause some of my biggest struggles. That sensitivity? It means my brain has a hard time focusing if something feels unresolved, a loose thread or an issue unknown that has many different paths that could be the result of a decision. Oh it drives me insane the constant chatter in my mind. I refer to it as a dog with a bone, you just gnaw on it and if anything tries to take it away or hide it? Its all you can do to bring it back and keep working it. Yea I’d say that my biggest struggle still.
Finally going to publish on this, it’s been sitting in the drafts.
If you were to ask yourself this question either as a man or a woman, what would your answer be?