December 6, 2009

diving and relaxing

Today we went diving!! The water in DR is like a bathtub compared to what I’m used to in New England (even in the summer!) We went to 2 sites, both of which were beautiful. The first dive, I saw a lion fish, awesome coral, sea urchins and anemones. I went through a little underpass/cave and landed on (what I found out later to be) fire coral. I now have a wicked rash/bruise/welt on my knee, and will definitely think twice before wearing a short wetsuit :-) I got some good mileage on my new dive computer, and actually was calm enough to use it. We were between 30-40 feet deep, and it was definitely a lot calmer than the nightmarish waters of the Galapagos. There was a lot of garbage and crap on the reefs, which was depressing, but I saw a few new reef projects that were successfully growing coral, so at least there is some effort to fix the problem.

After the dives, we met up with the rest of the AB team on Playa Grande, the big, beautiful local beach near Cabrera. Everyone passed out in beach chairs and had drinks and snacks from the local cabana boys. The sunset was beautiful, and there were about half dozen beach dogs running around. One was chasing a coconut into the surf, retrieving it, then tossing it back in again. A few of the people I met in the clinics and around town felt sorry for the beach dogs, tried to re home them, etc. In my opinion, I have never seen happier dogs in my whole life! I think my dog would be a beach dog if allowed. They eat from the kiosks, play in the surf, socialize with beach goers and sleep under the palm trees. In fact, I think I would be a beach dog if allowed!!! I played a game of fetch/tag with one dog (whom I nicknamed Rosie) in the surf, and it was probably my favorite experience of the whole trip. I was with an animal who would never have the care and amenities of the dogs in the States. She probably had a fair share of abuse and torture from ignorant people and cruel passers by. She never met me before in her life, and I didn’t offer her food or treats. She was simply enjoying life as a dog, and was more than happy to let me run on the beach and enjoy it with her.

Wish you were here....

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