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Saturday, December 31, 2005

The indoor tree

The only frontier left for the internet is how to convey the sense of smell. Imagine warm cinnonmen, chocolate, roast chicken, and the lovely smell of the evergreens....memories of Christmas. This year, the tree is a rather generous balsam fir which from the picture you can see is slightly tilted. Thankfully, I did not have to re-enforce the tree with any string or twine. Chaose in particular loves to hide behind the lower branches for safety? to enjoy the comfort of the tree? to play with the needles. Needless to say, she smells quite nice when she finally emerges. Posted by Picasa

Christmas Trees

I realize that this may offend some enviromentalist but I love the real christmas trees. The smell of balsam or alberta spruce just reminds me so much about Christmas. In outdoors or indoors, it does really matter. Nothing seems more festive that the lights around the Christmas trees. I do admit that the sight of the abandoned trees on the sidewalk is rather depressing particuarly when you see them just after Christmas. I try to make my last.....set up the tree the first week of December and don't take anything down until the end of January. The recycling folks will be happy to know that the trees are turned into mulch which I really need a lot off in the backyard. Posted by Picasa

New Friends

My little Chaos is finally getting along with Horus the Hippo. Yes, my bf gave me his namesake as lovely pre-Christmas gift. His belly button is particularly attractive. Chaos is adopting her favourite position as Queen of the Coach with the pillow to cushion her head as she naps all day long. Ah the life of a pampered critter! Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Eve

Well it never fails ever year. No plans for New Year's Eve. No firm plans for the evening. Actually to be fair, I have worked a number of them and consequently never really could make about plans for them. This year, I have no excuse. There are is option of going to a friend's home to eat, drink and watch a lot of movies. The second options is to head out to Niagara Falls with another friend where there'll be a concert to ring in the new year. I have done both before and the house party always seems the better option particularly after you've had a few too many. You see the problem is Mr. Hippo is away in Winterpeg. He's visiting his family over New Year's as he spent Christmas with mine. I'll have no one special to kiss. Yeah, I know being whiny about this is rather childish. Maybe I'll just stay home and go to bed early. They do say that how you spend your New Year's eve reflects on your year but I have never been one for such superstitions.


Wow, you didn't think this would be so funny but when the Yolanda went down, it took with it a stounding number of bathroom fixtures including these toilets. Just wondering where they were destined and what replaced them. Posted by Picasa

Egyptian Star

This is the last photo I took before I suffered a mishap. My mask strap broke during my night dive on the Thislegorm. My own fault as one really shouldn't adjust too many things. As my mask started to fill up, I searched for my dive buddy, Spauling. Grappling in the dark, I got his attention. He managed to settle me on some part of the Thistlegorm and then attempt to perform some minor surgery on the mask. As he struggle to lock the clip back into place, I waited patiently. In what seemed like an eternity, I palpated some object in my hand. Proprioception being a strong point for a surgeon, I thought it might be part of my mask. Offering it to Spauling, he carefully set this bracket in place and the other end of the clip snapped into place. Cleared my mask and voila, I could see again. We checked out our gauges and realized that we had another 10 minutes of air time and continued the dive. Yes, it isn't a dive I am likely to soon forget. Looking back I am rather surprised I didn't panic of course but then I ran out of sight not air...a real emergency in diving. Many thanks to Spauling for the repair job. Posted by Picasa

Lorries or Trucks

Okay, My Hippo has just informed me that this is a Bedford Lorry. Actually, I can't tell the difference between a Bedford or a Morris Truck. These vehicles lie in Hold #2 and wow, I'll say it again....the Thistlegorm cargo is amazing. The relative intactness of the manifest is amazing. The Thistegorm is as a ghost ship sailing out of the past. Posted by Picasa

BSA Motorcycles

Posted by Picasa The Thistlegorm is a fascinating wreck. It was easily the highlight of the week. We were fortunate that there were only three other dive boats in the proximity on the days we were there. There can be up to 30 at any given time. These motorcycles can be found in Hold #2. So eerie to find them lined up in the Lorries. Just wipe about the layer of grime and roll them out.

Red Sea Fire Urchin

A common theme amongst the creatures of the sea is "look but don't touch" Case in point here. The tiny little pustles which look contribute to the pin cushion like effect here are actually little sacs of poison release with contact. Posted by Picasa

Blue spotted Stingray

These are fabulous creatures. The spots almost seem to be fluorescent. Scarely disturbing the sand as they hover across the sea bed....unlike some divers I know.  Posted by Picasa


Lovely spotting grouper hiding amongst the colourful coral. Actually the coral reminds me abit of candy much like a gingerbread house but tastier. Posted by Picasa

Batfish? Spadefish

Unsure as to which name is more apt here.
You be the judge of this one. Posted by Picasa

Guarding the nest

It is quite true that the clownfish are found in pairs and very aggressive in guarding their territory often darting out and even know to make contact with divers (and small dents in diving equipment)! Posted by Picasa

Nemo in Bubble Anemone

Yes, these little guys are quite cute. You saw the movie right. Actually the clownfish or anemonefish have been dubbed "nemos" by most of the divemasters in the Red Sea. A testimony to the popularity of the Pixar Movie. Posted by Picasa

Common Lionfish

These critters were to be found on every dive I made in the Red Sea from Hurghada to Sharma.
This one was resting on the Ghannis D before setting out to hunt for its evening snack.

Look but don't touch! Those spines are poisonous. At my high school, there was a tropical fish tank with one of these in it. Everyone was warned about taking the lionfish out before cleaning the tank. One boy didn't get the memo and had to send to the emergency. The teachers did all the tank cleaning thereafter. Carpe Diem. Posted by Picasa

Sunst at the Hilton Resort

Nothing beats coming back from a dive trip to a warm bed at this resort. Posted by Picasa

So Where's Josephine?

Just a Napoleon fish wandering about the Red Sea. Check out those lips Posted by Picasa

Lionfish about to entrap its prey

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Travel Travel Travel

It must have been in my genes. I haven't spent a year in my life not travelling. Sometime great distances but more often than not somewhere fun and exotic. This year, I was three times lucky going to Cozumel in February, Hawaii in October and the Red Sea/Paris in November. They all share one thing in common. My love for diving. In fact, diving has lend to me to a new found love and bf, my Hippo.

I met him during the summer but things didn't really heat up until the fall. In fact, it is ironic that I have been on more diving trips since I met him but none with him. However, that can be remedied in the new year. It is after all rather hard to dive in the winter except ice diving and well, that would necessitate a dry suit. My Hippo left today for another cold destination, Winnipeg to see his family. Actually, he doesn't mind the cold which is odd for a Hippo. It was rather nice Christmas snuggling with him too.