What I have been doing recently ? Well, if you have been reading the lasts posts between the lines, you figured out that I was working temporarily for a 10 days mission. I was supposed to provide some Java technical backup about an offer bid for a J2EE application server. A J2EE application was provided by the client, as well as the hardware (load balancer, servers, ...) and the team had to solve technical problems on the application and demonstrate features of the server.
Since monday, because of the MyDoom virus, I have been under attack by mail servers from all over the world that kindly send me hundred of bounced emails like:
This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
Delivery to the following recipients failed.
because of various reasons like exceeded quota, unknown recipient, virus detected.
14500 is about the number of pictures I took during my trip. This is more than I did in my 30 existing years on Earth. I just finished burning the latest CDs with them. I stupidely did not do any backup since Singapore and now that I'm desperately trying to work hard with my laptop with some server side application and it shows some worrying signs of mechanical troubles. I feel like the hard disk will blow up soon, so I'd better backup right now than feel sorry and smash my head against the wall because I lost all my data.
Things are getting crazy for me right now. I already spent some time visiting family and friends, went to lunch and dinner here and there, got various proposals, and I'm already working on a J2EE related project for a couple of days while I still did not have time to update my resume and post it on the web. All this means that I did not get much sleep since last friday. This is positive since it put me right on the track again.
I arrived in Paris a few hours ago. The flight from Miami with American Airlines was a nightmare and a complete mess. My flight audio system was again not working properly (I'm very lucky with this each time I'm taking the train or a flight), fortunately there was no one next to me so that problem was solved quickly despite the fact the choice was atrocious. Shortly after, the flight attendant announce us that the movie will be Finding Nemo. This seems perfectly normal to me when the movie happened to be Radio with Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding Jr. The rest of the flight happened to be just like travelling in a shaker, courtesy of the bad weather above the atlantic. We start our descent toward Paris when the crew decide to serve us the breakfast in a hurry. I'm unsure if they 'forgot' it, or if it was done on purpose to let people sleep more. Fact is that we had to eat breakfast quickly !
Last day of diving today as I'm leaving tomorrow. We were lucky enough to cross the path of 2 dolphins on the bank but they were not very curious and the encounter was quite short. Apparently it was a pregnant mother and a juvenile one. We started a dive from the Willaurie toward the Trimaran and them went West along the wall to reach another wreck (I don't know its name) just west of the Willaurie.
Pretty busy day as we did 4 dives. We decided to go diving with Stuart Cove's in the afternoon to look out for carribean reef shark and get pretty exciting dives. As it is 10 miles from Stuart Cove's, it is not really doable with a dinghy. In the morning, as the movie 'Into the Blue' was being shot close to Clifton wall, we went to the Trimaran wreck which has no mooring as it is gone as of this writing but were told it was in bearing 170 from the middle of the Willaurie. It is easy to find (once you know where to go) and I would say it is about 150m from the Willaurie at a depth of 22m. We then did a shallow dive at Goulding Cay which is full of Elkhorn Coral so near the surface that they are awash at low tide. I was able to see a magnificent spotted eagle ray swimming in less than 3m of water.
Sand chute is named because there is a patch of sand next to the wall where a tongue of sand seems to drop all of it over the wall. As for the Willaurie wreck, it is located more West, close to Goulding Cay. This 100' Bahamian mail boat was sunk in 1989 and is now lying in a reef area.
The sea was pretty rough today so after a first dive at Wreck on the Wall ( torn up wooden sailing ship next to the drop off) where we were covered with sand coming from the bank, we moved to the Cessna wreck which is sheltered and lies in clear and very shallow water (6m). I was a bit surprised by the location of the wreck compared to where it was supposed to be but after asking the staff at Stuart Cove's I learned that the wreck was moved recently because they plan to sink a DC3 at the previous location for a movie called 'Into the blue' with Paul Walker (Fast and Furious). They were planning to sink two DC3s, one this week and the other one next week. The film was being shot between Clifton Wall and Goulding Cay. As for the Cessna wreck, it was used in the movie Jaws IV.
We are staying with the boat inside Clifton Bay, which has reasonable depth and somewhat sheltered from the swell and wind from the next days. It is conveniently located close to many dive sites and to Stuart Cove's which make it easy to fill the tanks quickly. A lot of dive sites have mooring which is also quite convenient to locate them. I was given a map by the staff at Stuart Cove's but it is so approximate that there is no way you can identify the dive sites with it. You have to dive them all and look at what it is !
Remember Bimini Undersea ? Well on the 'subscription' form, they were asking for our email address just next to the contact information in case of accident. Since then I'm being spammed by these guys: 4 emails in 4 days ! That's dedication ! First email was a thank you email which is fine. The next 2 ones were a Post Holiday update about what's (not) happening in Bimini. The fourth one is asking me to fill a customer satisfaction survey ! Wow ! Thank you so much for such attention, I wish I had that much when we were diving, I think it is a bit strange to not take care a single second about customers and flood them with email asking for feedback and how they care about you !
Because of a strong wind we could not go diving the Shipyard and Mahoney wreck. Sea was a little bit rough but nothing major, but as it is a bit americanized they prefer to not take any risk with people. To quote an article in the January issue of US magazine Dive Training that I picked up in Miami. You should understand a cautionary note about the American civil legal process: anyone can sue anyone at anytime for anything.
We have been for a couple of days in Nassau, in the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. My father and I decided to check local diving here with Bahama Diver which is conveniently located a couple of minutes from where we are anchored. We plan to sail on Friday on the other side of the island to do our own dives from the boat and check the wrecks that were built for a couple of James Bond movies.
Another Blue Hole after the one from Dahab in Egypt (there seems to be a few around here, as it looks like there is also one in the Berry islands). Is this one worth it ? Well, there are quite a few differences from the one in Dahab.
Diving Turtle Rocks, north mooring. I came back again here to take a shot of a juvenile spotted drum with extremely developped anal and caudal fins. It was tricky to take as the angle was not favorable and it was moving just like a juvenile sweetlips.