From the moment I stepped off the plane and boarded the van bound for Sunset House, I began hearing a lot of inside jokes about Total Sub events from years' past, but I finally saw what makes PADI's Total Submersion event so much fun for attendees who return year after year.
Each morning, Sunset Divers' fleet of five dive boats are readied for the day's diving. Each boat bears a team's flag -- red, white, blue, purple and yellow. They depart the slip within minutes of one another. Yesterday, Team White's boat (Theresa Kaplan's team) chased down Karin Sahm's Team Purple boat. The next thing I knew, water cannons were grabbed from dive bags and each team got off a volley of H2O blasts. Yes, I was hit. I'm a newbie, what I can say? I was also unarmed. Not next year.
Then, we were off to Northwest Point to dive the Knife, a site on the wall here that resulted in a lovely turtle interaction for photographer Tanya Burnett. The second tank was again at Pageant Beach Reef off Seven Mile Beach -- yesterday, Tanya found a spotted eagle ray burrowing for food in the sand at this site, but today, the ray was nowhere to be found, though Blue Team divers on a nearby site spotted a couple of spotted rays.
In the afternoon, a Kittiwake dive was again offered, as well as a shore dive where GoPro's rep, Hunter Clark, offered pro tips on shooting with the GoPro Hero camera. Divers could borrow one and make a shore dive on Sunset House's lively house reef. Tanya Burnett conducted a late-afternoon seminar on "Working with Underwater Models." Tanya offered great tips for underwater shutterbugs hoping to step up their skill level. Many of the participants have already asked her for advice, particularly on strobe placement and lighting subjects, while they are on the boat with her.
That evening, we again convened on the SeaHarvest Patio and enjoyed a down-home Southern barbecue feast. (I want the staff's recipe for pork ribs--oh my!). Corn on the cob, barbecue chicken, potato salad and cornbread--this Southern girl was in heaven.
We also celebrated Dick and Noreen Smith's 51st wedding anniversary with chocolate and vanilla cake. Congratulations, to two great dive buddies on a wonderful partnership!
Tomorrow, I'll report on today's fun and diving. Meanwhile, I'm looking for a water cannon.