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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What kind of book am I?






You're The Grapes of Wrath!

by John Steinbeck

You're mired in a deep depression that encompasses you and everyone you know. You're trying to get out of the depression, but your idea of help is, in itself, pretty sad. While some are convinced that this all has a deeper meaning, you're really just dull and tedious. And utterly obsessed with dust. You really need to focus on something other than dust. Your best moments center around turtles.


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Hmm...

Well, the turtles are only thing I am going to comment about.

A couple years back, I was diving off the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, at Pulau Redang. Having just shelled out substantial money (US$500) for a spanking brand new pair of Excellerating Force Fins, I was finding every excuse to use them.


These fins are more efficient than the Jet Fins; are just as powerful; are way more manoeuvrable; and do not suffer from a handicap common to all the other Force Fin models--being next to useless when finning on the surface.


The original Jet Fins. I never put them on again after I switched to the Excellerating Force Fins.

On previous dives at Pulau Tioman I had tried to keep up with turtles using Jet Fins, but while the Jet Fins provide enough power, the turtles quickly outmanoeuvre me. The low efficiency of the fins also cause me to use up air at a prodigious rate.

On a particular dive back at Pulau Redang, we encountered a Hawksbill Turtle. Anxious for a rematch (and to see if I got my money's worth), I sprinted up to it. As usual, the turtle tried to swim away. It couldn't outrun me. Next, it tried to outmanoeuvre me. That too, failed. With every bank, dive and sweeping turn, I would be right alongside it, gazing into its eyes. This wonderful dance (at least to me) lasted over 10 minutes. Finally, frustrated, the turtle made a sudden, sharp right turn without first looking...

...and crashed headlong into a wall of coral formations. The noise of the impact (a resounding crack!) echoed through the water. Head fully retracted back into its shell, the turtle drifted down to the sea floor like some kind of giant sinking penny at a fountain of luck. I looked at the other divers: while struggling to control their buoyancy, the guys had tears of laughter in their eyes masks; the gals were beaming death beams of disapproval and condemnation toward me.

So I descended to where the turtle lay (56 feet), picked it up, and finned around with it until it stuck its head out once again and swam--somewhat erratically--off. I guess the collision must have rattled its noggin somewhat.

What has this got to do with Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath? Why, nothing. Nothing at all. It was one of my best moments in diving though ;-P

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