All next week I’ll be taking a cave diving class on my CCR down in North Florida. Cave diving has been a dream of mine since reading an article about Sheck Exley’s exploration of the Nacimiento Mante cave system in Mexico. At a time in my life when I almost bought into the idea that divers should not venture deeper than 130 feet, there I was, reading about a man who had plunged to a world record depth of 881 feet and returned safely to the surface after 14 hours of decompression. It was as if the wool that had been pulled over my eyes by the recreational diving agencies had suddenly been removed, and I was left totally inspired. I remain inspired to this day, and I am honored to have the opportunity to learn cave diving from legendary cave and technical diver Tom Mount.
Last Winter, I bought a nice sanke female from Keirin Koi while I was at the Central Florida Koi Show in Orlando Florida. This is the smaller one in the pictures below, with persimmon (more orange) red and the stepping-stone sumi pattern. Even though the red is not as crimson as most Americans tend to like, she still won first-place for sanke in size three. Her name is Rei, and she is incredibly personable and frindly. She comes from the breeder Momotaro.
You can’t quarantine koi by themselves because they get lonely and sulk, so when I brought her home, I had to find a friend for her. I’ve been really into sanke lately, so I decided to find another one to keep her company in the quarantine tank over the winter. That’s where the larger male koi with the brighter red came into the picture. His name is Shinji and he is from the Ogata koi farm.
These two have been a riot. They’re koi, so of course they are always poking their noses out of the water looking for food whenever they hear someone. They both eat readily from my hand, are happy to keep me company while I’m in the basement. They are in a 1,000 gallon tank which is filtered by an Aquadyne 1.1 bead filter. Every week I change out 100 gallons of water to keep the NitrAtes down, and I keep the system at a constant 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
I finally got around to editing the video that was taken of my skydive at Z-Hils in Florida. It was my first jump, and my AFF level 1, which means that I was still able to jump from the plane despite the previous nine hours of terrifying instruction. That’s probably why I look a little white (or green) before I jump.
The video was given to me edited, but it was quite long for the web, and I didn’t really like the music all that much, so I decided to put it on iMovie and re-cut it a bit. Interestingly, this was also my first project in iMovie. I’m hoping to go back to Florida this March and finish the training.