Another roadtrip.  This one a combination of certification, business, and pleasure…. 

On the front end of the trip to become “rescue” certified as a diver, threw in a stop in Crystal River, Florida – a chance to snorkel with manatees.  It’s always a crapshoot, the number of manatees skulking around in the warm, brackish water is a huge variable. 

With the dive group, we rented a pontoon boat today for our adventure.  i saw an astonishing number of large, lumpy, sluggish and stupid creatures in the river.  A few manatees, too. 

There were many humans in the mix, and as we tried to snorkel in a “low disturbance” manner, not everyone in the water understood the concept.  i was even hit by a woman in a kayak, and another kayaker whacked me with a paddle in a narrow channel.

The snorkel adventure allowed a chance for the dive group to get familiar with each other, and do a bit of pre-certification bonding.  One gent – who impressed me with his massive cranial density during our political discussions at breakfast – made a noble attempt to pull a beer can from the water.

Thinking that if he missed it, i could somehow fish it out with the oar, i realized after the photos appeared that it looked like i stood ready to kill the can, should it attack.   Or possibly thwack him on the head.  But hey, you gotta support a noble gesture in any form…

The highlight of the day, without a doubt, was the opportunity for a meet-up with a blog friend.  Lynn, of Trippin’ with Rip, was willing to throw her amazing pup, Django, in the jeep and make the long trek to meet for lunch. 

She is delicious and sweet and saucy and genuine….  Truly one of the warmest humans i’ve met!  It was fabulous to put a voice and a face to the words, and we’re plotting opportunities to do it again!   There is no pretense with Lynn, and it was sheer pleasure to spend a few hours over lunch making the personal connection.


And no, i’m not really that tall.  She is a sharp cookie, and busted me for standing on the curb…

Tomorrow starts dive certifications – and i’ve threatened to just randomly start rescuing strangers to earn bonus points.  From there?  i’ll be headed somewhere else for a week long business trip…  Onwards…