March 15, 2005
Meals: Chef Jen was great, with personality plus. She prepared our three main meals, as well as our two "snacks". We had international dinners that ranged from Thai rice and vegetables to traditional English meat pies, Mexican, and Italian. A vegetarian, she catered to me far more than I would have dreamed possible. On the counter above, she prepared a meat pie with my name formed with the bread crust that had wonderful mushrooms and vegetable lasagna too. None was wasted; the other guests dug in after I served myself.
Breakfast included fruits, toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, and cereal. Lunch would include cheese like cheddar and brie, along with a variety of crackers. There was also some type of salad (Caesar, shrimp vegetable), lunch meats, and bread. We also had ice cream, chocolate cake, pudding and more.
Accommodations: There are dorm cabins for four persons and doubles with two beds. Comforters were warm and soft, and considering how well the A/C worked, it was quite appreciated. Beds were made each day and we were provided with towels and bottles of water. The showers provided very hot water--a welcome comfort after the night dive. My cabin was spacious, with plenty of shelves and cabinets, and the wood (mahogany perhaps) was clean and buffed.
Staff: Jen as I mentioned was an excellent chef and did a great job along with the other staff in putting together a surprise party for my birthday, which I didn’t know they knew about--balloons, cake, presents, wine, and all. I received a box of Valentine candy, a nearly empty jar of vegemite (being a vegetarian and all), and hat so remarkably like the one I left in my room that it was.
Jon and Demi gave informative dive briefings that had a laughing. Demi’s English (he’s Japanese), along with his hand signals while describing the various fish life we’d see, was hysterical. The interesting drawings of the shapes of the bommies also had us in stitches. Jon was a great help in identifying what we’d seen after a dive when we described it to him. There were books and fish cards around for reference as well.
Demi was quite talented. He created his own telescoping didgeridoo (aboriginal instrument) and played happy birthday on it for me. The breathing required to play one of these instruments is art unto itself. He also had an instrument that looked like a ukulele but had only three strings. He played this Japanese instrument while singing in Japanese. We have no idea if sang off key or what it meant, but it was entertaining. He would put in videos that he had made while diving during the whale season that made most of us want to book our next trip.
From journal Reef to Rainforest