Getting Back in the Blue

Getting Back in the Blue

Hi, internet. It’s been quiet around here lately. Truth be told I didn’t feel inspired to blog over the holidays . . . I was in a strange head space and the words just weren’t flowing. BUT, I did something very exciting a few days ago and I’m thrilled to share it here.

I went scuba diving! For the first time in 5 and 1/2 years! And I had such a great time!

I got my PADI Open Water certification when I was living in Cayman in summer 2011, and went diving a few times during that season, but I hadn’t been since. I didn’t have any dive buddies in Victoria, and zipping into a drysuit to brave the frigid Canadian waters somehow didn’t seem as appealing as the bikini-clad Caribbean dives I had grown accustomed to (spoiled, I know. Excuses, I know). So, somehow FIVE years passed, until I signed up for a Dive Refresher course and finally got back underwater.

My day started out at the pool at the Westin. I was the only one taking the course that day, so the morning theory and pool session were very brief. It was also one of the coolest days I’ve ever experienced in Cayman, and my tiny instructor wasn’t too keen on being in the pool. So after practicing some basic skills in the pool for approximately 10 minutes, she declared that I was good to go and she would see me at the Red Bay dock in 3 hours for our boat dive. Just like that! Yikes.

I fuelled up with a delicious, nourishing lunch at Island Naturals, and read up on some more diving rules and tips online. I didn’t feel adequately prepared after the morning session, so I felt the need to do some more research on my own.

img_1934
Study fuel & diving fuel: Green curry over quinoa, washed down with beet & ginger juice.

I was somewhat nervous as I got to the dock and joined the group, but as the boat took off I relaxed & my excitement grew. (I’ve always felt at home when I’m on a boat. The men in my family are sailors, sea captains, and fishermen. And anyone who’s lived on Vancouver Island knows the familiar comfort of BC Ferries). There were 3 first time divers on board, so us novices stuck with the instructor.

We dove at a site called Bullwinkle West, and I loved it. The meditative breathing, the simultaneous sense of calm and adventure, the absolute magic of experiencing a different world. It’s awe-inspiring.

scuba-dive
Can you see the excitement in my eyes?!

I was buzzing with happiness and adrenaline when we got back on the boat.

Ever since I’ve moved back to Cayman, I’ve been feeling somewhat lost. My close friends are in Victoria. My mum is in Victoria. I rely on rides to get around everywhere because I don’t have my own car yet and this place is so un-pedestrian friendly it’s insane. BUT, this felt right. Diving felt right. And I feel motivated to keep going, keep learning, keep experiencing that magic. 

img_1938
Post-dive bliss. Mask indentation on my forehead. LOVING LIFE.

I’ve been YouTubing diving videos and reading dive blogs all week. And I’ve set a goal of doing 50 dives in 2017. This is big for me, as I’m not usually a quantifiable goal type of person. But, in the spirit of the New Year, I figured I’d put it out there and challenge myself to follow through with a measurable, action-oriented resolution.

So, if you’re a diver and you’re in Cayman, hit a girl up! Let’s be dive buddies.

See you underwater!

-Jess

Weekend Reset

Weekend Reset

Hi, friends!

Just a quick note to share some highlights from the weekend. It was lovely! I had to work late on Friday for an event, then had an extremely busy day at work on Saturday for a family day I coordinated, so by Saturday evening I was exhausted and ready for some relaxation. I started watching The Good Wife (7 years late to that bandwagon) and thoroughly enjoyed an early night of Netflixing. It was necessary. It was fantastic.

On Sunday I was up bright and early to participate in the annual Jingle Bell Run for the Cayman Islands Crisis Center. I chose to run the 10km (you could do 5km or 10km, walk or run) and was a little nervous because I hadn’t run that distance since being in Cayman. The route was a straight, there-and-back 5km stretch, which meant that you just did it twice for the 10km. Despite my feet hurting (I’m cursed with very long second toes and now realise I need to buy bigger trainers) and a bit of knee pain at the end, I felt good (mentally and energetically). It was a really great atmosphere! The whole thing was very casual and community oriented, and was capped off with a post-race breakfast and raffle on the beach at Calico Jack’s. While the whole event felt jovial and festive. . . as mentioned, proceeds supported the Crisis Center, which provides shelter for women and children who have experienced domestic violence, in addition to a 24hr hotline and various outreach programmes. If you’re in Cayman, please consider donating money or goods to the Crisis Center. 

img_1551
TIRED and happy!
img_1553
Will run for food (and worthwhile causes)
img_1560
Sandra won grocery money!
img_1556
Post-run breakfast view. What a world.

 

The rest of Sunday was spent recuperating on the beach by the Marriott. Felt like a tourist, fruity cocktail and all. Bliss!

img_1564
YES to this Coconut Mule.
img_1573
YES to playing tourist for an afternoon

Today was spent with Dad, running errands, going for lunch at Da Fish Shack, and a quick afternoon snorkel. It had been awhile since I last snorkelled. Although I love to spend time  in the water, I’ll admit that regular life stuff often gets in the way. The stereotypical “island lifestyle” isn’t a reality for most people here, myself included (we have jobs! we have responsibilities!), so I cherish weekends like this where I get to spend not one, but 2 DAYS (!!) in the sea.

I’m feeling recharged and relaxed. Participating in a community events + spending time with friends and family + getting outside + eating good food felt so right. My heart is happy. Hope yours is too.

Love & Light,

-Jess.