Welcome to to the first live blog posting on Sky’s aka Mister Blue Sky’s-The Hammock Philosopher’s journey along the Tropicville Highway. Click on the Mister Blue Sky picture for a better view of me on the highway. I am living on the caribbean island of Utila, which is one of the 3 Bay Islands off of Honduras…….that’s in Central America for those of you that were stoned during your geography course…….The other 2 islands are Roataan and Guanaja…..I will stay at Graham’s Place on Guanaja….but that topic is for a sunny day……..
Ok it’s Sunday morning and I am blogging right now from Mermaids Cafe because it has quality internet. I will be on Utila……that is pronounced “ooh til ah”…. for at least another 16 days and then……?…..?….but I will either stay longer or come back to Utila…..stay tuned as I follow the Tropicville Road in Central America.
I arrived last Wednesday the 16th, Jacksonville-Atlanta-San Pedro Sula Honduras on Delta then SOSA Air to Utila. I was met by Rob Smith in his oversize golf cart and taken to my apartment at Lazy Daze–see the link on right side of blog page. He walked me virtually next door to Alton’s Dive Center (see links) and introduced me around. Rob used to be the manager at Alton’s and among other ‘tings’ is now managing Lazy Daze. First early impression…Rob is a great guy and I hope to get to know him…….
Effective 5:30 PM yesterday, being 69 hours after arrival, I am now a PADI certified diver. That was quick…3 long days of course instruction including 4 real dives….I agreed to join a class that was 2 days ahead of me, and my instructor Phil worked with me on written course material in between in-water sessions etc. ….so this morning is the first time I have come up for a breath of air (during the daylight hours)…………..I took the written exam late yesterday in a typical “Utila State of Mind” meaning I was carrying a rather large hangover from a rhum drinking lesson I mean session at a local dive the night before…no pun intended…whose name I still do not know…but they sell a cookie that they refer to as the “happy cookie” and as the night progresses it is not unusual for a person behind the bar to pass around a freshly rolled “happy” cigaret. I left this bar when I thought it was moving and I was standing still so I gracefully leaped into a “tuktuk’…3 wheeled taxi….back to my apartment and was back at Alton’s in the early AM for more dive course education…..as I frequently say…”burn’n daylight…sleep when you die…”
Utila is one of the diving course mecas in the tropical world not just the Caribbean. There are over 12 dive centers on this small island. People from all over the world come here for various levels of training, especially Dive Master and Instructor certification. It is the worldly “backpacker” destination for inexpensive diving and inexpensive dive courses/training…. so there are many hostels on the island plus all the dive centers offer free hostel rooms/dorms for any one taking their courses. What I am trying to get across is that this is one of the backpacker-flashpacker-Indie traveler party destinations in the world soooo………there are a lot of young people here which means a lot of bars and clubs…..hope they can keep up with some guy called RakerBoy……….At Alton’s right now there are students from Japan, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Central America and even a guy named “Sky” from Jacksonville Beach! So scuba diving hand signals are very useful in communicating on Utila.
A “Utila State of Mind”…(my phrase by the way)…. is a person here on the island that has a constant party hangover…….so they drink rhum (that’s rum for those that don’t know that’s how it was originally spelled) in their morning and afternoon coffee to take the edge off and maybe eat a cookie snack along the way……where did all these crumbs in my pockets come from? oops…just kidding I have not tried a local cookie….yet……?
So here is the actual official slogan for Utila……(not my phrase) …..”It is a drinking island with a diving problem” or is it a diving island with a drinking problem….my neuronic connectors need a slight tazerising still….
I keep being told by more experienced people around here that the “happy cookie” cures the Utilian hangover…….. in fact someone just walked by and gave the diving hand signal of “out of air”….. which I assume on land means out of either rhum or herb….
I am presently being stared at by 3 huge whale sharks located on the underwater mural (on the wall across the narrow harbor road). Its on the front of one of the dive centers. Utila is world renown for its resident whale shark population which of course attracts divers from around the world. A flashpacker at Skid Row last night enlightened me that… “there is nothing more cosmic in diving than eating a happy cookie and seeing a whale shark smile at you”………pictures to follow…I think not……yet…?
I am taking the day off today and heading to Skid Row which is an expat bar/restaurant that has 2 big screens….watching the NFL championship games in spanish….fooootbaaaall……tooooooochdaaaaan!!!!! Its about a 20 minute harbor road walk from my apartment… and a short putput on a tuktuk.
Ok let me say that it has been raining for the last 3 days solid, in fact during my 2 days of instructional diving-4 dives it was right snotty-nasty and cold…….so being in the water diving along a nice 45 foot wall of coral at 60 feet was very pleasant.
I will start my Advance Diver course tomorrow, my eventual goal will be Dive Master certification after taking a few other advance courses over the next 2 weeks or so. The Dive Master program requires 40 logged dives to enter it so needless to say I have a real challenge to get this done over the next couple of months.
Ok…..My mental energy is draining along with my macbook’s battery so I will wrap this up. I will be posting various “tings” on this blog site in the future. There will be pictures, art pictures, videos etc placed within the various pages set at the top of this blog. I have already put a couple of art pics in the Troppo page…..”troppo” means gone tropically mad or crazy. I will post my recent experiences but I will also post in the Hammockville page my philosophic thoughts which come to me along the tropical highway waxing philosophic in a hammock (like on Alton’s Dive Center’s dock) brushing cookie crumbs off my chest….also I will post in the Hammockville page different topics, like how to make the best conch horn ever or ….how to blow your conch….or how to see a green flash at sunrise (after the clubs and bars close).
You can pass this blog site on to anyone you like and you can add yourself in to receiving new blog entries at the lower link right side of the blog by giving your email address….I will also use my facebook page to alert as to new entries……I have had many people ask me to set up a blog because they found my emails entertaining when on the Bahamian island hopping trail so this inspired me to create this blog site the “HAMMOCK PHILOSOPHER by Mister Blue Sky” I hope you enjoyed the song Mr. Blue Sky by ELO….that’s Electric Light Orchestra…yeaaa way before your time…..but when you are in the tropics on an island where it has been RAINING FOR 3 “TREE DROPPING COCONUTS ON THE ROOF’ DAYS….I can’t wait to blast the island with this song running through my small guitar amp-set up on the dock where I am staying on the harbor front….oh yes I brought a stratocaster and little amp to rock Utila and tropical Central America…..look out Bocas del Torro, I will be there in March….and who knows where in between.
A quick shout out to my dive instructor, thanks a lot Phil !!!…..excellent instructor…..Alton’s is fortunate to have him on staff….very patient with the younger students and very kind to me…. for as we all know its hard to teach an old dog new tricks but “its a lot harder to teach an old dog old tricks” (my second Mister Blue Skyism) especially while in a Utila State Of Mind……….
A final shout out to my wife Carrie…….you are the best!!!!!!!!
Waxing philosophic from Utila with 3 giant whale sharks staring at me….let the adventures go on! “..follow the tropicville road, follow follow follow follooooow…the tropicville roooaad…..” with Mister Blue Sky
Till next tide compadres…hope to post a pic of me (not riding) and the whale shark soon………..
ps I have to bone up on the currency…I just spent $90 for rice with mac and cheese plus spaghetti plus bottle of water at Mermaids…..Honduran dollars that is……….
Sorry..but one very last ting (“ting” by d’ way means “thing” in the caribbean and Bahamas)…a guy with a big smile on his face just rode by on a bicycle, tropical shirt straw hat with a huge red-yellow-blue parrot with a tail 2 foot long on his shoulder……and I swear I heard the parrot say “coookieeeeee, more coookieeeeeee”
Mister Blue Sky