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Now I’m all set to move to Cozumel by myself…ready to start my new adventure.  I had returned in November to meet an American woman who had an apartment for me to rent for a year at what I considered to be a fair price.  It was great!  There was a roof deck, covered by a palapa with a hammock where I immediately promised myself I would visit everyday to read my book and watch the sun set.  I have my bike boxed up to bring with me to Cozumel, knowing all the places I need to go to I can easily get to by bike and knowing that my present status as a tourist will preclude me from being able to register a motorized vehicle anyway.  I’m prepared to move down to ready myself to take over the tech diving business for that guy I trained with for 2 weeks back in August, I have my business contacts on speed dial to call upon as soon as we are ready to post the new website and begin marketing up in the states.

Excellent!  My head is in the clouds…I’ve prepped my firm for my departure, I’ve handled the moving of all my stuff to NJ, I’ve re-rented my apt in NYC, and all my winter clothes have been donated to the Salvation Army…even all my high heels.  I have thought of everything…I’ve packed the sentimental items I don’t feel as though I could live without along with a half dozen pairs of cut-offs, tank tops and bathing suits.  What else could I possibly need?  Oh, right…flip flops!  Check!!

I’m off…I board the plane after a tearful good-bye to my brother who is married with children and maybe more prepared for the fact that him coming to visit me is probably going to be impossible while I’m still hopeful.  I still see the world as a very small place at that time…I don’t consider the 5 hour flight by way of Cancun plus a bus and ferry ride (12 hours total) to be a big deal…but I’m a diver who has been willing to travel over 10 hours (actually sometimes as much as 2 days total) to land a tiny plane at an airport with a guy in a tower with binoculars to spend 6 days diving off a tiny island, many times.  (The story of the snow storm my dive group and I had to drive through in order to get to our connecting flight in Charlotte to get to Turks & Caicos will have to wait for another post!)  I leave NYC with the belief that everyone could easily be able to travel that route to spend a week in Paradise!  LOL!  Anyway…

So, I’m off…I land in Cozumel on like a Tuesday, first stop was the bike shop to have my bike reassembled and I was in the water diving by the next day!  BAM!  Imagine 14 days of getting up at 7:00, biking to that guy’s house, driving to Caleta (the port where we keep the dive boats here) to spend the entire day deep diving and attempting to complete more skills for more tech certifications, on top of the 3 I qualified for back in August and November, then classroom and lectures till 10:00 at night.  My initial objective here was to become a Divemaster so that I would be qualified to take tourists out diving.  Every nite we spent going over Powerpoint presentations, lecturing me on more tech stuff, taking tests, reading one text book after another, then BAM!  that guy left to return to California because he had a baby.  WOW!  The number of people who I knew on the island was just cut in half!  (That guy and my landlord)  SHIT…now what?  Ever get that feeling like you’ve just swallowed a frog?  My first thoughts…all my winter clothes were sent to the Salvation Army… my apt in NYC is gone…I have no Divemaster certification…no FM3…I know no one here…what am I going to do now?

“What are your intentions?”  I will always remember hearing those words being said to me by the Italian I’d met who managed the boat I had been diving off of.  That frog came back to my throat as I prepared myself to be completely honest with him when I told him I had absolutely no idea.  He saved me…he and the owner of the Dive Op allowed me to dive off their boat indefinitely…they saved me.  They were who answered my prayers of providing me the Dive Op I needed to dive with until I had enough dives under my belt to become a Divemaster…they helped me learn the contacts on the island needed to complete my IDC (Instructor Development Course) so that I was able to become an instructor.  They are who I still dive with to this day!  They became like my family/trainers/friends who helped me through some of my initial obstacles on this island…not to mention how they have taught me how to dive…”Why do you kick?”  LOL!  I have also met some of the most amazing people while diving with them who have come to dive during the past 2 years and we have had so much fun…boat is out by 9:00, ride out to the dive sites, in the water for our 1st dive by 10:00, 75 minutes later, come out for our 90 minute Surface Interval during which time we would eat, sleep and get the sun and read our books and just take in the scene…flamingoes landing on the beach or American tourists on a banana float flying by, maybe gossiping with other divemasters from other boats…then 1:00, back in the water for our 2nd 75 minute dive, then out and boating back to Caleta by 3ish.  Not a bad life for myself.  Exactly what I had dreamed about…

Till reality caught up with me again…

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