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Why I Went to Indonesia to SCUBA Dive and My Life Under the Sea

Photo by: Willem Gingnagel

Photo by: Willem Gingnagel

About a month or so after Mom passed, I was sitting outside our family home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with my Dad and Uncle Mark, talking about life in general. Uncle Mark isn’t technically my “uncle,” but more of a surrogate uncle. My parents raised us (me and my four siblings) with lots of surrogate aunts and uncles. To them, their close friends might as well be blood relatives. They loved their friends so much, and those friends loved us like family. Uncle Mark was a special case, though. We were exceptionally close to him. He and Mom were very similar in their loving nature, both having the biggest hearts, you’d think they’d explode! My Mom’s famous quote was “Make it a great day!” She would constantly try to infuse positivity into our lives and teach us to be happy and grateful. Uncle Mark’s favorite saying is “I love this planet!” You should have seen the two of them together, cutting up, laughing, having fun- and infecting anyone around them with their happiness and love. When you loose someone who is core to your soul, it gives you a little bit of relief to be around those people who resonate that person’s spirit so strongly.

My favorite surrogate Uncle Mark

My favorite surrogate Uncle Mark

So, as we were sitting outside on a beautiful January day (yes, it can be like spring in BR in January), talking lovingly about Mom and her amazingness (and missing her unbearably), Uncle Mark mentioned his next big dive trip to Wakatobi in Indonesia.

Our Moss Side home in BR. This could be any day of the year.

Our Moss Side home in BR, Lousiana. This could be any day of the year.

Aside background note: Uncle Mark owns a dive shop in Baton Rouge called Underwater Adventures. He also does technical diving and leads trips to amazing dive locations all over the world. The funny and interesting thing to me is that my father took Uncle Mark diving for the first time a long, long time ago. He loved it so much that he decided to make a career out of it. Thank goodness! Otherwise I’d probably never go diving!

Snorkeling before I could dive

Snorkeling before I could dive

Cullen, Mom Chan, Me

Cullen, Mom Chan, Me

You see, my father had an accident while diving many years back and suffered an embolism, which he could have died from (he had to visit the hyperbaric chamber, and this was his second time!), and the experts at Duke biomedical center suggested that he could never dive again. Bummer. This meant my diving adventures went from fairly often to once every few years (if I was proactive). He was lucky to survive the accident, though!

This was our family's boat. We were in the Caribbean snorkeling and diving A LOT. Notice the name: Pegasus. This was also one of Mom's (Peggy) nicknames.

This was our family’s boat. We were in the Caribbean snorkeling and diving A LOT. Notice the name: Pegasus. This was also one of Mom’s (Peggy) nicknames.

Occasionally seas were rough, and I may have gotten sick once or twice. I guess we didn't have a smaller bucket. Me, Mom and Chandler.

Occasionally seas were rough, and I may have gotten sick once or twice. I guess we didn’t have a smaller bucket. Me, Mom and Chandler.

Little me and Cullen, our boating days sadly behind us.

Little me and Cullen, our boating days sadly behind us.

My favorite spot on the boat.

My favorite spot on the boat.

So, Uncle Mark was hyping up this amazing dive trip to Indonesia that was nine months away, trying to convince me and Dad to go along with him. Let me clarify, I didn’t need any convincing AT ALL, but Dad wasn’t too keen on the idea, since he can’t dive anymore. “What am I going to do all day while y’all are diving?” That’s a fair question.

My Dad- circa 1984

My Dad- circa 1984

Dad showing me how to catch lobsters. Look at those monsters! I don't think they get that big anymore in the Caribbean... (Pegasus, aka QPII in background)

Dad showing me how to catch lobsters. Look at those monsters! I don’t think they get that big anymore in the Caribbean… (Pegasus, aka QPII in background)

I knew, though, that dive trips with Uncle Mark are always the best. We’ve gone with him countless times to Cozumel, Mexico (before it was somewhat ruined by the cruise-tourist industry) and the Bahamas. Our family went with his Underwater Adventures group on an Australian dive trip in 2001: one week on a Mike Ball liveaboard and one week exploring Australia overland. It was the first time I had experienced world-class diving. I remember thinking it looked like someone had spilled watercolor paint all over the ocean floor. It was my first shark dive as well, which was really exciting.

This is actually from a different trip, when Alan and I were diving in Fiji. I needed to throw a shark photo in here, though.

This is actually from a different trip, when Alan and I were diving in Fiji. I needed to throw a shark photo in here, though.

Fast forward many months, and I found myself fortunate enough to be included on Uncle Mark’s Underwater Adventures Indonesia trip.

Our Underwater Adventures dive group at Wakatobi Dive Resort, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Our Underwater Adventures dive group at Wakatobi Dive Resort, Sulawesi, Indonesia

This post was not meant to be extremeIy informative travel-wise, and I apologize for that. I just wanted  to set the tone by giving a little bit of background on Uncle Mark and Underwater Adventures dive trips, my experience and history with diving, and why this trip was so significant to me (also, see yesterday’s post).

Over the next couple of weeks, I will delve into the diving in Southeast Sulawesi, The amazing Wakatobi Dive Resort, and our adventures exploring Bali and Singapore.

Thanks for stopping by!

♥ Lindsay

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11 Responses to Why I Went to Indonesia to SCUBA Dive and My Life Under the Sea

  1. Chas Spain February 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM #

    Lovely pics of you with your family – very nostalgic

    • The Traveluster February 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

      Thanks, Chas! There’s a lot of debate about whether blogs should be so personal, but I think it’s important to occasionally get the full picture/story/background. I’m glad to receive positive feedback! These are my favorite type of posts!

      • Chas Spain February 24, 2013 at 5:01 AM #

        I love this sort of personal reflection, which (often) we can only really make as we move through life and experience loss. Sometimes it’s only then that we connect back to other people and memories in a deeper way. Great for you to share this.

  2. Anonymous February 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM #

    Boating adventures with Peggy and Bubba were always memorable. I miss those time and I miss your Momma XOXO

  3. Emily McCarroll February 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM #

    Wonderful. I hope you can share these with Mimi.

  4. Jack@biradivecamp June 12, 2014 at 9:33 PM #

    Wow! what a great diving experience. Indonesia is really a diving paradise.Thanks for sharing this one. Nice photos.

    • Lindsay June 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM #

      Thanks, Jack! I would love to live in Indo for a while! And just dive every day!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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