Thursday, October 11, 2007

What's A Dive Buddy For?

An important part of diving is finding a dive partner who is compatible with your style of diving, someone who makes a tank last about the same as you, or at least won't drive off and leave you as you finish off your tank. If you're the kind who likes to go exploring every little hole and cave, it's nice to know that they'll be right there with you, not watching you shaking their head thinking you need to be locked away. I've dove with many people over the years, some great divers, and others who probably should have stayed land lovers. But when Doug and I hooked up together over 5 years ago now, it was pretty much a perfect match. Being crazy isn't necessarily a prerequisite to be go diving with me, but it probably doesn't hurt. Now I'm not saying I'm insane or anything, but let's just say that I usually march to the beat of a different drummer underwater than most people. Fortunately my buddy Doug hears the same music and is right there along with me, or at least usually within a half mile or so of me. But even Doug looks at me like I've lost my mind occasionally, it doesn't happen often mind you, but there have been those few rare occasions. If I had to put a caption to this picture, it would be "you want me to what?"

Doug and I were taking a friend of ours and his visitor diving in the Grotto, and I wanted to show them the giant clam I had discovered on the last dive. So I worked my way over to where I saw it last time, and sure enough it was right there just waiting for us. I took a few more pictures of it as I was waiting for them all to get there. Here's a picture of it for those of you who may not have seen it in my previous post. Now the only problem with a picture like this is you really have no point of reference to get an accurate idea of the size of this clam. I could tell you it was 3 feet across or 6 inches across, and you couldn't tell because there is nothing to compare it to in the picture. So I had this bright idea that since my dive buddy Doug was actually with me on this dive I might as well use him to help demonstrate the size of this clam. I waved him over and let him take a good look at the clam first, then I pointed at him and pointed down at the clam. Sometimes underwater communication leaves something to be desired, it's hard to communicate exactly what you want. Doug put his hand next to the clam thinking I would be happy with that. The only problem with that was that I had tried it the day before and wasn't really happy with the results, I had something else in mind. I pointed at Doug's head and then pointed down at the clam. The look in Doug's eyes said he thought I finally succumbed to permanent nitrogen narcosis and had completely lost my mind. Now come on, how cool would it be to have a picture of Doug's head in the mouth of that giant clam? I mean there's no telling how many copies of that picture I could have sold!
Ok, so his head might not have fit inside the clam completely, but still. At least this gives you a pretty good idea of the size of this clam. It's nowhere near as big as the giant clams in Palau, but Doug and I both agree it's by far the biggest clam we've ever seen on Saipan, and as much time as we spend in the water and as many places as we've explored, that's saying something. I suppose it's possible that other divers know where this guy is located, but I've never seen other divers poking around there. So if you want to see my giant clam I'll see if Axe Murderer Tours has any openings coming up.