April 24, 2019 3 min read

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly....

There is plenty of good transpiring in Southwest Florida currently and my calendar has a very optimistic aura to it right now. Easter has come and gone and May is only a week away, so we are on the brink of getting our roads, our restaurants, and our grocery stores back! For many of us that also means getting a big chunk of our sanity back. To all the snow birds (that aren’t divers): thanks for coming, thank God you’re leaving!!

Warmer water is good, really really good. The Gulf is flirting with 80 degrees which is the ‘lock’ temp for the locals to willingly get into the water. That is, when the water hits 80 it’s as if God took a lock off the Gulf and they start diving. You may think they are a WIMP and so does instructor John and I, but we think of it as an acronym: Warm Intelligent Mature Person! Good is happening. So my Lely class motto ‘having fun and feeling free - we’re the class of ‘83’ is currently applicable as is our class song; The Cars, Let the Good Times Roll!

Bad has been buried in an avalanche of good! What a fantastic wish that is, it’s sad that it’s only a wish and a far-fetched one at that. You guys pay more attention to the news than I do so I’m not going to recap all the negativity seething around our beautiful planet. That is not my job, I’m an aquatic ostrich! Warmer water is definitely a double edged sword, besides comfortable diving it also correlates to hurricanes and red tide. Hurricanes blow and we’re less than 2 years removed from Irma. She was a beast and no fun for anyone but I’d rather deal with another strong tropical cyclone this year than....

See the red tide and toxic water return with a vengeance! I can not handle another dive where I watch creatures struggle for life while they are suffocating. Nor will I fare well if my dive site looks like the surface the moon when 3 weeks earlier it was a colorful, vibrant limestone ledge bursting with life. If that happens again you will find me in counseling and therapy. If that fails look for me in bars between opening and closing hours. When you find me please offer to buy the dive shop for a ridiculously low number.

I expect some red tide and green water flare ups this year, I can’t imagine that we've fixed the problem in this short of a time frame. However, anything close to or approaching last years intensity will be UGLY,,, VERY UGLY!! Now we have Extinction Rebellion. That’s not ugly, it’s beautiful to me. A growing number of people all over the world committing their time and energy to peacefully protest that humans are harming and crippling our earth in an effort to bring change for better. Clean and sustainable air, water and food seems like a good idea. Sign me up! Where is our nearest local office?

Many of us feel that way but what is UGLY to me is that many of us don’t. Many of us don’t believe climate change (or at least human impact upon it) is real. Really? Those people must despise the outdoors! They must have gotten bit by red ants or stung by a bee as a child and decided that the outdoors is just a barrier between them getting from an inside place to a different inside place. To me their is nothing more fulfilling than being in a beautiful natural setting be it the woods, mountains, or the water! Even those with an aversion to be outdoors still need clean air and drinkable water.

I pray that the call for collective human action to right the ship is answered before the window of opportunity passes (if it hasn’t already). That would be ugly!

The division bell is ringing louder, but the call for concern is rising. I hope to write a newsletter one day titled The Good, the Better, and the Best! Currently though I see us as a species on the crux. I hope all the naysayers are right and all of us ‘tree huggers’ are out of line and just wrong... but we’re not...

Let’s stoke the fire Friday!
Live, Love, Dive... Jeff

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