Showing posts from October, 2013

On farming coral

"You know," I said to Gavin, "I've spent ten days around here, that's way more than I've spent almost anywhere else I've travelled to. I thought I'd get a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the place than if I'd just spent a few days." "And did you?" he inquired. "Nope." Moalboal may not have hidden depths, but it is an interesting place. Or at least there are far more boring ones. For one thing, the geology is striking: the earth for many miles around this peninsula essentially consists of a vast coral atoll which rose above the sea millennia ago. You don't have to dig very far -- in fact, half the time you don't have to dig at all -- to come across the bedrock of dead coral; jagged, striated, fractally pockmarked, and extremely hard. The result is a brittle and infertile land. Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be coral farmers. There are virtually no actual fields within a five-kilometer

these are the dives I know I know, these are the dives I know

198x: Muskoka, Canada, a couple of entirely unlicensed dives with my father. 198x: Dominican Republic, again an unlicensed dive with my dad. 2000: Krabi, Thailand, 5 dives (PADI Open Water course.) Great reefs, great beaches, an excellent place to learn. 2002: Byron Bay, Australia, 2 dives. Choppy but pretty good. 2002: Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Australia, 11 dives (PADI Advanced course.) Just superb. 2003: Dahab, Egypt, 4 dives. Very good. 2003: Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 2 dives. Pretty good. 2003: Caye Caulker, Belize, 2 dives. Not bad I guess. 2004: Galle, Sri Lanka, 2 dives. Nice wrecks with meh visibility. 2005: Catalina Island, California, 2 dives. Beautiful kelp forest, frigging freezing. (February.) 2005: Nungwi, Zanzibar, Tanzania, 2 dives. I still have the scars, but good diving. 2006: Muskoka, Canada, 2 dives. Freshwater but homey. 2010: Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Australia, 11 dives. A little more dived-out than eight years earlier, but still truly excellent, esp. t