I hang suspended, hovering, 30 feet high. Although the temperature is warm, in the 80s, the ground looks as if it’s covered in snow.
The Pass was hidden, a treacherous rift of currents that didn’t want to shoot strait – at least from the perspective of Captain George Vancouver. Back in 1792, while exploring the Pacific Northwest, he sent Joseph Whidbey sailing northward along the east coast of a strip of land that now bears Whidbey’s name. Whidbey made it up the Saratoga Passage and explored eastward into Skagit Bay, but didn’t make it far enough west to find an outlet. It wasn’t until they changed their practice and explored up the west coast of Whidbey that they found the strait, making Whidbey an island rather than a peninsula. Captain Vancouver was so annoyed being fooled by that hidden rift of roiling water he called it Deception Pass.
226 years later, another group of intrepid sailors headed up to that deceptive pass to pursue a different set of practices. I was one of them.
The giant Pacific octopus lurked within easy reach in a shallow hole, its large suckers giving away its strange existence. I reached in to shake hands; first it retreated, then it wrapped its suckers around my fingertips with a firm grasp and began to pull me in.
* It was so cold, the politicians had their hands in their own pockets.
It was so cold in Beverly Hills even folks without Botox couldn’t move their faces.
The shark was laying on the white sandy sea bottom, and made no move to swim away as my dive buddy and I approached.
Ask any guy on the street, if you wanted to see a colorful reef, where would you go? Chances are, he’d point you at a tropical island with nice warm water, because nothing interesting lives in cold water but a few boring fish. Right?
Not so fast.
Every day, millions of people go through a familiar ritual – they take their dog out for a walk. This is good for both person and dog: both get exercise, a chance to blow off steam, and for the dog a chance to “do his business”. The problem is those business cards.
It seemed like we had crested a mountain top: looking into the distant valley below we saw ridges and depressions, with the low areas filled in with a whitish fog. But the view that had opened up was much smaller and less than 20 yards away, and that fog went by another name – krill.
In part one, our intrepid travellers drove the left lane through New Zealand, and dove with the right gear under its waters. We were about to take a flight on which there was a muscular, cricket bat wielding passenger over the ocean to Cairns, Australia. It’s worth mentioning: this was a flight where the alcohol was flowing free and easy.
It was an Air New Zealand flight. At 35,000 feet, over open ocean somewhere between Auckland, New Zealand and Cairns, Australia, an athletic, muscular man stood in the aisle brandishing a cricket bat.