Comebacks, Reverse Psychology, Staying Positive
Comebacks: are awesome, both in sporting events and in life. We are approaching the four year mark since 2018‘s merciless red tide impacted all the local marine life and devastated several species. Side note; after mentally weighing those opening lines I went back and reread my August 2018 Captain‘s Chronicle. I found it very interesting and consistent that I used the word ‘mercilessly’ to describe the red tide. I was in a very passionate place and it’s an interesting read so I will include it at the end of this newsletter.
Our Nudibranch, the Florida Regal Sea Goddess wasn’t seen on our local dive trips for a couple of years after the suffocating algae bloom. Over the last couple of years we’ve spotted them infrequently, but we’re seeing more of them as of late. That’s good because they are really cool and a favorite of Instructor Dan and Melody‘s! Leopard toadfish were also waylaid and we spot them occasionally now but they do not appear to be trending upwards. Soft corals, sea cucumbers and purple sea urchins are all making significant strides. There are also a lot of angelfish and slippery dicks out there! Barracudas (my reasoning can be discussed at the dive club Friday) are more abundant than ever. The one species that we have not seen much of and that really concerns me is the southern stingray. They were virtually nonexistent last summer which is normally when they are plentiful here. We have seen a few over the winter, so fingers crossed. Comebacks are needed… Above and below the water and ultimately with the humans walking this struggling planet!
Reverse Psychology: I’m not proud of some of the things that I did in my formative years. I hadn’t learned that I was mortal despite having all of my life ahead of me. I worked my guardian angels overtime consistently! I can certainly tell a few stories about this topic Friday! I started thinking about this while talking to the mother of a young son that were doing referral dives with us. A referral is when open water students start their training at one at one place and finishes in another… We do a lot of those! It took a lot of work to even coax her to go down the descent line a few feet and she quickly pulled the plug on open water dive one. Visibility (or lack there of) may have been a contributing factor in Tarpon Bay). Her 17 year old son (an aspiring marine biologist) stayed in the water to complete the dive and she and I had an interesting conversation. She talked about potentially writing a book and I replied that I am often told that I missed my calling and should do that also. As she contemplated why she was reluctant to do the dive, her first thought was that she was mainly getting certified to support her son. Then she grinned and said, “I don’t know, I guess as I’m getting older I don’t feel the urge or desire to do extreme things anymore”. I nodded in agreement and I’ve often contemplated that thought process. It seems to me that when we’re young we should behave more conservatively… If we mess up, a large portion of our life is impacted if not eliminated! If I go crazy at 57 and have a hang gliding mishap, I’m out 25 years max and Lord only knows what my quality of life will be during that time frame. We should reverse that psychology, the over 50 crowd (very big crowd in southwest Florida currently) should be the ones going off the wall thrill-seeking! That’s especially true now given the world's current state of affairs. So settle down youngsters… My generation is going to go radical for the next 15 years or so! Does anyone have a squirrel suit I can borrow?
Staying positive was the focal point of my red tide inspired newsletter of 2018 (see below). It hasn’t been easy and it’s taken me a few years with some input from Paul to figure it out, but I think I’ve got it. It’s as simple as 1,2,3:
1) Don’t watch or read the news. 2) Disassociate/unfriend any and all Debbie Downers. 3) Go Diving (Negativity can’t travel through water). And we all lived happily ever after…
Hope to see you Friday! Live, Love, Dive!! —Jeff
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