April 23, 2020 4 min read 1 Comment


As I wrote a recent newsletter in late February I was contemplating the concept of halves and how us humans are basically divided on most everything. I referenced how the half of us on our little island that are year-round residents can’t wait for the other half (part-time snowbirds) to go back up north… divers excluded (because your cool and can still dive). Here’s what I wrote:  The other half of us can’t wait for that half to go back up north! We want our roads, stores, and restaurants back to normal... but until then we are dreaming of May. 

I take it back! Except for the dreaming of May part. Actually, the wanting of our roads, stores, and restaurants to get back to normal is now more applicable than ever! So I take back the first sentence and the second sentence stays, but with reverse reasoning. Now my dream is that May allows me the opportunity to be around as many other people as possible, not to escape the four months of crowds and congestion. Somehow I now miss ole Gertrude driving down the road sightseeing at 16 mph causing the traffic jam that I’m stuck in while trying to get to the bank before they close. I’m certain I speak for the vast majority of us full-time residents when I say our new mantra is: Come On Back & Get On Out There!!! 
I just had a major epiphany… it wasn’t the wet market or a Chinese laboratory that started this virus; it was Mother Nature!!! She’s the big winner here! There are so many stories out there about all the good this mass human slow-down has done for our environment, it warms my heart. That’s a good thing too, it’s the only recent development that has melted away the frosty layer of ice forming around and trying to completely freeze it. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE let this be the proverbial slap in the face that  humankind needs to realize that (it’s been the theme of my writing for 30 years and I'll say it again, and again, and again): We (humans)  have to change the way that we live and function as an industrialized world NOW in order to reverse the path that is currently destroying our host.
Planet Earth is screaming at us right now. I hope and pray that we hear her!!! What does a parent do to a child that doesn’t listen and disobeys? Well, back in the day the parent would spank the kid's ass (but that’s considered battery against a minor now). My point: If we don’t listen to Mother Nature and obey her instruction she will continue to punish us. You may think the Coronavirus is tragic (and I agree) but I also feel that it pales in comparison to the fury she will later administer if we don’t develop clean alternative energy, reduce carbon emissions, and re-think our biggest mental flaw; this concept of needing to stockpile wealth for an unforeseeable future. Without this fundamental change in the western mindset… there is no future!
Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters had quite a run in the 80’s as late night TV news anchors and I remember the reverberating final line of their  introduction:  'This is 2020!'  Man is it ever, you can say that again Hugh. So I think I’ve got this boiled down to the simplest of terms. The question of whether humans can survive and thrive, or rather, are we near the end of human life on Earth as we know it, can be answered in one line. Unfortunately it comes in the form of a question: Can humankind transform from being competition based to being cooperation based?  That is not an oversimplification to me; it’s that simple, yet so hard. Can we do it? Will we even really try??  Hmmm, seems like this is good time to get close to your God! I consider myself a Christian but if God lets me into heaven I’m sure I’ll be seated near or in the back row. I’m not a doomsdayer but have you heard of the book of Revelations? Supposedly there are numerous descriptions and predictions about specific trials and tribulations that we will go through in the final days. Perhaps the author had some inside information? Naaa, it’s probably just coincidence that most of those predictions are happening right now!
Anyway… let’s talk diving. The winds turned blustery and onshore this week so there hasn’t been much bubble-blowing the last several days. Prior to that the diving and visibility have been well above average for several months now. Ahhh, there’s nothing like a pandemic and a ‘safer at home’ order to usher in great dive conditions! Divers used to be told "look don't touch” now their told “imagine don’t look”. Scuba Marco is still running limited trips aboard the Psychquatic. We had fabulous dives on the Paddle Wheel and Tonya wrecks last weekend. The water is getting warm and the bi-annual run of the pelagics is in high gear. We’re hearing numerous reports of massive cobia, permit, and amber jack over any structure out there with even moderate relief. Reply or give the shop a call if you’re ready to get wet! Although the Psychquatic is very spacious, it’s virtually (pun-intended) impossible to spend 4 hours on the boat while remaining at least 6’ away from everybody else. We do all we can to maximize personal space and hyper sanitize. If you have your own group (either family or healthy vetted friends) looking to dive that’s the perfect scenario. 
My brain is searching for the right closing phrase but at this point everything already seems like a cliche.  I’m sure you’ve heard them all before (probably often), so let’s keep it simple. Until then… when???
Live, Love, Dive  -Jeff

1 Response

Jerry from NYC
Jerry from NYC

May 12, 2020

Lucky to live across from the East river. And as I’ve been diving NY harbor for 30+ years (including UNDER the “Statue of Liberty” several years ago), I have seen a continual, marked improvement in water quality/“viz” over the years, Not only here, but up & down the Mid-Atlantic. But, not like this.
One can only wish it wasn’t due to this “wrath of Mother Nature:”, and that all can enjoy it before it inevitably turns backward..or, hopefully, maybe not.
FYI: Not too long ago, the canals of Venice, Italy made the east River look like the Caribbean.Sea. Now, there are dolphins in the canals, and one can see the bottom.

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