Those of you that failed to show up for the Aldora CyberDive really
missed out this time.. We had about 14 show up & it was really a good CD..
Eric the Animal & Paul came in from the UK.. Veronique & Jim brought Vero's
father (Allain) & step mom (Nicole) in from France, Arne came in from Norway & finally brought his wife Sylvia with
him.. Many of us were believing she was imaginary.. Jeff Bish & Nicole came in from PA..Dr Edwardo
Stroup (CyberDiver Surgeon General) swooped in from Spokane.. John Wilson & Jerry Hope represented the Texas & Louisiana
area.. Ron Lee was also in attendance.. Some of you know Ron as an active supporter of Aldora on
various newsgroups.. We also inducted a few new Cyberdivers that week.. Jim & Fran
Goyette, who Paul & I have dived with before, dove with us several days this
trip.. Fran even put her fresh home cooked dinner in the fridge one night to go to dinner with the
group.. We also met several other folks who plan to join up & come to the carnival CD in
The trip for Paul & I began on Halloween when we met in Houston for
dinner.. We flew to Coz the following morning... We landed in Paradise & were met by two friends & a beautiful day.. ..In fact the weather was beautiful for the next 17 days with the exception of ONE cloudy day... We met with Michaela at the Aldora office & setup the initial itinerary.. Most of you do not know Michaela yet, but you will love her as we do.. After the meeting we settled into the hotel..
Diving began the next morning.. Everything went smoothly from the
beginning.. The boats were on time almost to the minute every morning.. As typical for Aldora all our gear was setup & ready...The first day viz was off a little, it was down to about 80 feet, but after that it was back to normal.. The day we did Maricaibo the sea was flat & there was little current.. No Dolphins, but we did have a nice Eagle Ray...we had several Eagle Ray encounters this trip.. One nearly ran into Roberto.. We also had several up close & personal turtle encounters..
All our dives exceeded one hour, most were in the 90 min range....The last day Roberto & I plus another guy ended up doing 2 hrs 41 min on our second dive.. Little Jorge had been trying to beat Antonio's record for longest Aldora dive with customers...Jorge was really on us about that.. He accepted the dive because our average depth was about the same as his average on his longest dive.. I know he is out to set another record.. He doesn't know we had air for another 20 min.. We had a lot of good natured carrying on that night between Roberto, Jorge & me..
We saw many, many turtles & Nurse Sharks this trip.. No Black Tips, but I think I saw more Nurse Sharks than on any other trip to Coz.. Also seen were several Toad Fish, I even held a Scorpion Fish, of course Paul didn't have his camera that dive.. Sea Horses, Pipe Fish & Nudibranchs were other favorites.. Those eagle-eyed DMs, Jorge & Roberto, can really find those small critters..
The surface intervals are done at the new Playa Sol.. The place is very nice-much larger than the old one.. They have a nice new dock for the boats & a swimming pool. There are very nice restrooms & shower rooms & showers scattered on the beach...They have two VERY attractive Swedish girls working there now.. They organize activities for the cruise ship weenies who come down to entertain the divers...There were some very nice BBB types as well... The only drawback to Playa Sol is they have puke, I mean Pepsi instead of Coca Cola....I had a way around that this trip, but we may have to switch CyberDiver Surface Intervals to Nachi Cocom where they still have the American Fave, Coke.....
The office is now staffed by Michaela (mah-shell-ah).. She was wonderful to us.. She took care of everything in an excellent manner.. We had no problems of any kind...Things could not have run smoother... Of course Julian was right there as well every time we needed him... I was around the office more than usual this trip- you guys would be surprised how hard those folks work to keep everything going...
We had a great group & the group had a great time... Vero brought her Dad & step mom from France to join us this trip.. They are wonderful people.. It was a real treat to be with them...Her dad & I have at least three things in common.. I enjoyed watching Jeff's wife Nicole conversing with them in French... She was very animated & entertaining even though I could not understand a word...
We had dinner at Prima, El Moro, Guido's, La Mission, La Choza, La
Mission Tacos, & several other spots.. Of course they were all excellent as usual.. Albert had some special deserts at Prima.. The French Quarter was another favorite.. It should be hopping at Carnival since carnival & Mardi Gras are the same celebration with a few variations...Roberto, Michaela & I discovered a little family spot that sells food from their front porch in the evenings- great tamales, & local foods plus pastries, Flan etc...My meal was 29 Pesos & I was stuffed.. Edwardo located a street vendor by the Dairy Queen.. She had tacos, flautas, gorditas & other local goodies, also very cheap.. I think she is only there at lunch.. She has a salsa Verde that will light you up.. Capt Fausto took Paul & I to a nice tavern.. They had COLD beer & kept bringing out plates of food.. Each plate was different than the last.. I am not sure what all we ate, but it was all good...
We had a pizza & beer party for the boat captains & bodega staff on
Saturday night.. We wanted to show those guys how much we appreciate their efforts in helping us to have a good trip.. No one was counting, but I seem to recall about 300 empty bottles the next morning (G)....
We recruited about 6 new CDers this trip & four (possibly 5) are coming to Carnival CD.. We welcome them... Edwardo is bringing 4 new CDers with him.. That is a net gain of 10 new Cyberdivers.. I look forward to seeing them & you at the next Aldora CyberDive - Carnival 2001 Feb 24- Mar 3.
Jerry in La