Dec 4, 2006

ISLAS ROSARIO, Colombia – After a week of boogie nights, I cache my heels. I don a neoprene shirt that stinks of saltwater and others' sweat. Then I dive the shoals alongside the smugglers' islands, seized and slapped together into a rough national park.

My instructor Fernando shovels me into a hammock between plunges. I try to nap away a week's exhaustion.

We dodge barefoot around a low wall, the perimeter between the disco-pumping resort and jungled patches where squatters dwell. A taciturn woman serves me a 50-cent plate of eggs, salad and fried plantains. Like a superstitious Romanian, I grow restless with the setting sun.

Three foot waves thrash the boat: all recklessness and water. "That moon's so bright, this barely qualifies as a night dive," Fernando grumbles.

Small mercies, I think, then somersault backward into shadows.


  1. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Do you likr REM? Its nice to see all the wonders underwater.

  2. Nightswimming = Greatest R.E.M Song of All-Time

  3. I agree, DB. I tried to title this article "Nightrowing" but the P-I called it "City Strokes" (which sounds vaguely dirty) and cut the lyrics quoted. (Boo, hiss!)

    That aside, the newspaper's one of my favorite clients. Too bad it might get munched in the power struggle with the Seattle Times...

  4. Anonymous: I'm not quite the REM fan I was in my youth, but I still like the band.

    As for diving, well, that excitement's still going strong!

  5. Haha, "City Strokes." Maybe the P-I decided on the vaguely dirty name after your liberal use of the word "cox" throughout the article? (Hehe, I'm really sorry - that was terrible).

    Seriously though, sorry to hear that one of your favo(u)rite clients could be disappearing. Excuse my ignorance of Seattle papers but is the Times the one with the wider circulation?

  6. No reason for ANYONE to keep abreast of the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) fiasco, outside Seattle.

    We have two metro dailies: the Times and the P-I, which are locked in a death grip of sorts. The third paper in the area, the King County Journal, is about to dump 40 journalists cold and shutter down.

    I'm no JOA expert, but the Times has a bigger circulation, yes. However, the P-I is owned by Hearst, which has deep pockets. And if it bows out, it claims 32% of the Times profit until 2083. So the short-term winner, may not, in fact, go the distance...

    Here's my fave rumor: the P-I becomes the first national e-paper.

    Enough with the politics. Back to the bad "cox" jokes already!

  7. For any confused parties, the woman in the photo is NOT me. Would I wear bubble-gum pink flipflops? Like hell...

    No, these are random dive boat punters. Cute kids, though.

  8. I'd like to point out that the pink flips worn by the woman on the boat suspiciously match with the colours you're wearing in your Blogger profile pic.

    Admit it: you have a closet full of bubble-gum pink attire, don't you?

  9. Hat Boy5:04 PM

    Dingobear has a point. They do match your pink wig...

  10. RED checkered keffiyeh, RED wig, lads.

    Bold, cheeky RED. None of that sissy stuff...

  11. Haha!

    Ok Amanda, you win, they're "red".