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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hello again. It's the start of a new month which means another update. I'm now officially 3 for 3 for staying on track and consistent.

Last month I wrote about our new apartment, which we still love. We are officially settled and really enjoying our new home. We have a couch finally, which only took about three weeks to find, order, and have delivered. Things here are realllly slow sometimes. It was frustrating but at least it's over.

Kater just finished midterms (already!), which means this semester is halfway through. She did very well and as always worked super hard. Today she is off at campus working on a necropsy presentation she has to give with some other students on Monday. Very busy all the time.

For me, I've gotten back into the water again after a long break. I swam and snorkeled so much my first few months here that the novelty had worn off and I had lost interest. But I've gotten back into the water a few times since the last update and every swim has been incredible. Most notably was my first full moon snorkel for lobsters! A few friends and I went out into Half Moon Bay around 9pm during a full moon with some thick gloves and underwater flashlights. It was an unbelievable and almost indescribable experience. Aside from catching lobsters with my own hands, the water was clear and the light from the moon shone through the water and cast the most beautiful dancing light across the ocean floor. It was mesmerizing. Many times I would turn off my light and just float to watch the light dance. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I wish I had taken my camera, even though I doubt the photos could have done it justice. I will try next time- as we plan to make a monthly thing out of it. As for the initial reason for going out in the first place, the lobsters! To catch the lobsters we would scan the reef with out lights, looking for eyes that reflected the light. There were a lot of crabs, shrimp, and many other critters out too. We came across a moray eel, a sleeping green sea turtle, and lots of little squid. Once we located a lobster, the idea is to shine the light on them- creating a 'deer in the headlights' situation. Then, as quickly as possible I had to reach out and grab on to them very tightly. If able to catch them, we would then put them in a mesh bag that we carried with us. Regulation says we are allowed to keep any lobster with a carapace (back) longer than 3.5 inches. We ended up having to throw a few back for size or eggs, but our grand total was ten when it was all said and done. There were five of us so we each brought two home. I cooked mine the following evening for dinner. They were very tasty.

My next great snorkel outing a few weeks after the lobster adventure, was also very fruitful- in the sense that I had the camera and got a few great shots. Shown below are:

Hawksbill sea turtle.



Lion fish.


Stripped pufferfish.

Giant Sea Star.

This swim was probably one of most exciting and one of the best for pictures as you can obviously see. I'm planning to go back out again in the next week or two.
Next up on the my list of updates, Nirvana. Nirvana is a new restaurant just up the road that opened recently. Kater and I went on a date last week and had a really great time. The food is incredible and the property is just as great. It's set on a renovated plantation home up in the hills and overlooking the ocean. They have nice gardens to walk around in, and there is a lot of history to the place. Things are well labeled around the property and they tell the story of its past owners and so on. Here's a few shots of the property and of us:

We really enjoyed it there. It's a nice place to get away from the typical dinner menu and also a great place to not see everyone you know. I'm sure as it becomes more well known that will change and we'll see other students up there. For now though, it feels like it's our little secret place.

I'm not done yet! There's a few more things that happened that we have to write about.

Last week we had quite an exciting afternoon when the field behind our house caught fire. It's not determined as to exactly how it began, but it got going pretty good! Here's a few pictures of the fire, and us helping try to control it.

It was pretty exciting and came close to a few houses in other neighborhoods. No one was injured and no property was damaged except the field itself. John and Kater helped get the horses out of the field to the owners. There were about ten or so scattered throughout the field for grazing. The fire was controlled safely enough where the fire department felt comfortable leaving. Some small areas still smoldered and there was an occasional small fire but they felt there was no risk of anything taking off again.

Alright, phew, almost done! Last but not least- an art update. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been working on and off with a charity organization starting up for the benefit of animals called ONE LOVE "helping animals in need". I just got some of the merchandise that they have made with my designs. They gave Kater and I each a few shirts, tags and a sweatshirt!
Take a look below:

I believe last month I posted their website with some of the art I did for them. Turns out they were unhappy with their web designer and their marketing people decided to hire out to a different web company. They will soon have a new web address that will be linked to the current one (displayed on all their merchandise) and once that is done, these things can be ordered off their site. It's beginning to look like they will be getting some great press soon, including an add spot in a Mighty Dog commercial, and the possibility of some airtime on a major network TV show. I'll keep you posted. It will be very surreal to see something I designed on TV! Imagine that?!

Well that's it for now. Thanks for reading.