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Thursday, August 29, 2013

August Adventures: Part II

Technically, the majority of these adventures will take place in September but as the trip starts on 
August 31st, August Adventures: Part II it is. 

If you are not a fifth floor up regular, then you might not be up to date with my life. Not that most 
of  you really care about my life anyway but I know some of you might. You know who you are... 
Mom, Dad, Andy, Jennie, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Debby, Mary... that pretty much covers it. 

Last month, I received my open water scuba diving certification at Dutch Springs Quarry in 
Pennsylvania. I did not do this just for fun friends. There was a real reason behind this scuba 
diving madness in 40 degree water for two days. I'm not that crazy. I knew all along that I was 
doing this for a very good reason. That reason was here...
This Saturday, I am leaving for a two week scuba diving trip to Palau. Um... where? Exactly! 
Most of you have never even heard of Palau and I will comfort you by saying you're not the only 
one. Apparently Palau is the paradise for scuba diving and after months of Sara forwarding me 
emails stating there were still spaces available for the once in a lifetime trip to Palau, I started 
doing my research. By research I mean typing in Palau on Google Maps just to see where in the 
world (literally) it was.  I dare you to try to find it without cheating.


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Palau, located in the middle of nowhere in the Western Pacific Ocean, is geographically part of the 
larger island group of Micronesia. I'm going to Micronesia folks! The country was originally settled 
around 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines. The islands were first visited by Europeans
 in the 18th century and made part of the Spanish East Indies in 1885. The islands were sold to 
Imperial Germany in 1899 after Spain's defeat in the Spanish-American War. During World War I,
 the islands were conquered by the Imperial Japanese Navy. During World War II, the Americans 
fought the Japanese in the Battle of Peleliu. Along with the Pacific Islands, Palau was made part of
 the United States under the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. Under a Compact of 
Free Association in 1994,Palau gained full sovereignty. Politically, Palau is now a presidential 
republic in free association with the United States who provides defense, funding and access 
to social services.





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After speaking with my parents about the trip, confirming that work would allow me to take a full 
two weeks off, and informing the scuba diving company I would like to go, the long adventure had 
started. Sara and I planned a trip out to Ocean Horizons Scuba shop in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, that 
weekend. Paul, the owner, fitted me for my wet suit, mask, snorkel, booties and fins. A deposit 
was paid, and he gave me instructions for my scuba diving certification classes which started the 
day after the 4th of July holiday weekend. 

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As I previously stated in my Dutch Springs post, every Tuesday night from 7:00pm - 11:00pm 
for five weeks, along with training for my first Triathlon, I was taking scuba diving classes at the 
YMCA in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  After I passed the written exam, I headed out to Dutch Springs 
Quarry in Pennsylvania for a weekend to complete my certification dives. After a month and a half, 
I was finally an open water certified scuba diver. 


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Two weeks later, Sara and I headed back out to the scuba shop in Bay Ridge for our specialty 
Nitrox course. In Palau, we will be diving with Nitrox, and as it is only slightly different from air,
 it is still required that you take a special course. We were fitted for our rental BC and Regulator, 
paid the balance due on the trip and headed home.The next time I would be seeing any of these 
people would be at the airport on the way to Palau!
For weeks I've been slowly gathering medications, I have some interesting sinuses, which also lead 
to a visit to the ENT, some steroid antibiotics to help with my clogged eustachian tubes, along with 
a decongestant and antihistamine. So fun! I will pretty much be a traveling pharmacy. 
Better safe than not I guess. The good news is I am all healed and in good working order. Good
thing because I really want to pay attention to all of the amazing marine life I will get to experience.
Like sharks... AHH! Joking. 


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And whatever this little big guy is...


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But I also get to see places like you see in movies or dreams.


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I did splurge on one accessory and that would be an underwater case for my Canon Powershot. How 

could I go halfway across the world and not have an underwater case for my camera. I mean, if I was 
going to splurge, now would be the time to do it. Especially since you all know how much I love
photography. It would have been stupid of me not to. Sara has the same case and she already 
practiced while we were in Puerto Rico earlier this year. I cannot wait to take photos and share 
them, some of them, as I am sure I will take thousands. Not joking. 




Not only do I get to go to Palau, we also get to spend one night in Hawaii on the way there and on
 the return flight. I mean seriously? I get to visit my favorite place in the world too! If you do not 
know, I spent two summers in Hawaii studying at University of Hawaii at Manoa. I have many 
amazing memories from these two summers. To this day they are still the two best summers of 
my life. I will never forget my time in Hawaii. I mean literally, I tattooed it on me. I'm also excited to 
pick up some new Locals!! Tucker made a meal of mine. 


Today is my Friday. My office is closing for the holiday tomorrow. I have lots of cleaning, laundry
and organizing to do to get ready for the trip. It is really going to be a trip of a lifetime and I can't
wait to share it with you. Wish me luck! XO

2 comments:

  1. It looks magical!! So, so beautiful!! I can't wait to hear about your adventures & see all your pics!! You better facetime me while you're there!! Have fun & be safe!! Hopefully you didn't watch shark week ;)

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  2. I hope you're having fun in Palau! I'd love to swim with manta rays at some point in my life...and if you do that while in Palau, I will envy you forever! lol

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