PV006: Diving with Dive Key West

Posted by Arlo on Oct 30, 2009 under Postcard Valet, PV-Podcast, Travel, Videos

Hoo boy.  This was a tough podcast to edit.  I can remember working on the first cut on the airplane down to Seattle back in early September.  Why so difficult?  Well, I think I underestimated how much “story” I wanted to put in.  As I mention in the video, Oksana and I wanted to tie this episode back to the last, so we tailored our little speeches around that.  Unfortunately, once I started editing, I realized I had absolutely nothing to show while we talked — we’re not in the habit of taking videos of dive shop storefronts. Yet.

I decided to do what I could with what I had, but the real problem was that I lost one crucial little thing:  Motivation.  Eventually I battered my way through the editing process, but I’m not 100% happy with the results.  Oksana really liked it, though.  Maybe you will, too.

We did a total of four dives with Dive Key West and we’ve got a couple more stories to tell.  I don’t know if I’m going to jump right into that now or wait until we get back from our Puerto Rico vacation coming up in November.  That might be the perfect time to practice some “on the road” podcasting… we’ll see.

(Update: Never did get around to editing the rest of that footage, but we did go back and dive with Dive Key West again in 2010.  Check out our Lobster Season video!)

The following is a transcript of the above video for Google’s benefit (ignore it, watch the video instead!)

This is still a…

Postcard Valet

Temporary Intro

West Sambo Reef, Key West
Key West, Florida
June 2008

After we were done with the Captain’s Corner dives, we thought, you know, that was okay… it’s wasn’t bad.  You know, we had a few more days in Key West and we were deciding, “Do we want to do any more dives? Do we want to go with Captain’s Corner again?”  At one point, we decided to stop by this dive shop, called Dive Key West, to pick up a mesh bag.  We were talking to this very personable guy behind the counter.  We told him we were a little disappointed with our other dives.  He told us about the dives they offered – they were quite a bit more expensive – but he was so friendly and the dives sounded so cool, we decided, you know what?  Why don’t we give these guys a try?

We totally got sucked into a really awesome diving company.  They were fun, they were friendly, and they made your dive experience absolutely fantastic.

So, our first dive was at West Sambo Reef.  As soon as we got in the water, we knew it was going to be a much better dive.  The water was more clear, colors were better, everything about it was better.

As we were descending, I saw two barracuda swim by and I tried to fumble with the camera to get it going really quick and by the time I got it pointed in their direction, they were just disappearing into the gloom.  And I was a like, “Aw, that’s a bummer.”  And I had just hit record when they started to turn back.  And I’m like, “Oh, that’s great.  I’m going to get a picture of them!”  And they get closer… and closer.  And I have enough time to move my hands back and curl my fingers around because, you know, I’ve heard they’ve got pretty big teeth.  And they suddenly, it just takes off!  Right towards the camera!  And I was like, “Holy crap!”

It happened so quick, I didn’t even realize what was going on, but when I looked back at the same video later, I realized that another fish had swam right in front of the camera and I almost got a barracuda strike on film there.

There’s so many things to see on the dives.  There’s never enough time to see it all.  However there are a lot of little memorable things that I saw on this particular dive.

We got to see a hogfish.  That fish is so ugly!  It’s just hilarious how ugly that thing is.  But… we got to approach really close and it was totally fascinated by eating whatever it was it was picking off the coral wall, and… They’re just really, really strange looking creatures!

The parrotfish are really cool.  They have a little beak that looks like a parrot beak, and I think that’s why they are called parrotfish.  And they approach the coral and they will actually pick on the coral or whatever they eat off the coral.  The particular one I got to see is a Midnight Parrotfish.  They are very awkward, but at the same time very pretty, and I got to see one, so I feel quite cool about that!

Half way through the dive I handed the camera off to Oksana and I pointed to her and started doing our motion for “start filming!”  I don’t think she saw the turtle at first…

It was a perfect surprise.  The turtle allowed us to get really close and we were able to follow it for quite awhile.  It really swam very casual and slow.  The turtle wasn’t bothered by us at all.

And while Oksana was following along behind it, filming it, you know, I wasn’t going to touch it, but I wanted to see how close I could get. And at one point I had my nose maybe a foot away from his nose.  And he looked over at me and I thought for sure it would be on film!  I looked at it later and the camera was so tight on the turtle, you didn’t even get to see that part.

I, of course, totally lost track of the depth and ended up unfortunately surfacing.  However, we were in the shallows so it wasn’t a big deal.

And he eventually surfaced for some air…

And as soon as it was done, it took off.  I’m not kidding!  Just one swing of its flippers and it was gone!

We were in the water for almost an hour.  It was a really good dive for us.  When we pulled ourselves up onto the boat after the first dive, we realized we were the last ones out of the water – which, for Oksana and I, was like: “Score!” because in Australia we were always the first out.

For our second dive, we were still at West Sambo.  It wasn’t quite as good as the first dive, just because we didn’t get to see quite as many cool things.

We saw squirrelfish.  They’re so cautious of you and every time you approach, they kind of turn their bodies and they look at you with this big, huge eye.

We came across another lobster, sitting under a shelf in the shallows.  And, at one point we happened across a small barracuda – it almost looked like he was sunning himself in the shallows. He was just kind of hovering there in the sunlight, completely unperturbed by us.  We got fairly close and circled around him.

We came across what was probably a cleaning station because as we approached some of the fish opened their mouths really wide.  Normally, I guess, the little shrimp or something will come in and clean out the parasites, but we didn’t get to see the actual process, we just saw some fish looking like they were yawning.

We came across a little Christmas tree worm.  They are this little spiral, cone-shaped, super-colorful, shell.  I never could imagine that I would call a little worm “cute,” but they’re adorable.

At the very end of the dive we got back out again.  We were under for… very close to an hour and again, we were the last people out of the water.  The dive master kind of took our gauges, took a look at them, but when he saw that we still had, like, 1000psi left, he was just like, “Huh. Okay.”  You know, we didn’t think much about it, we just kind of thought maximizing our time underwater was cool.

Postcard Valet
Episode 6:

West Sambo Reef, Key West
Key West, Florida

June 2008

Check out:
DIVE KEY WEST
http://www.divekeywest.com

Postcard Valet is a Travel Podcast by
Arlo Midgett & Oksana Midgett

All footage
© 2009 Arlo Midgett

http://blog.arlomidgett.com

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