West Meets East

A Western man travels East in search of love, opportunity and happiness.

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Name:Michael Strickland

This blog chronicles my adventures as I leave my native California and travel east to northern Virginia to start a new life. I can only imagine the funny stories I'll recount here as I experience a wildly different climate, culture and way of life.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


For someone like me who loves scuba diving, this has been quite a dry spell. I knew that one thing I’d be giving up by moving from San Diego to Virginia was easy, anytime access to year-round diving. Here, the ocean is at least a couple of hours away, and the only decent diving within driving distance (unless you count lakes and quarries) is the wreck diving on North Carolina’s maritime graveyards. There, the Gulf Stream brings warm Caribbean waters, but the seas are unpredictable and topside temperatures make off-season diving unheard of. And any dive trip there would also be a road trip, not a same-day diving excursion.

But like I said, I knew this before I moved. I didn’t dive every weekend in San Diego, and I told myself that moving out here was a trade-off: on the East Coast, at least, I was much closer to the Caribbean, making long weekend trips to places like the Bahamas feasible. But as close as those tropical destinations are, such trips still require more effort than a last-minute, Friday-night decision to go diving Saturday morning.

For now, I’ll have to remain a bone-dry diver. At least I know CJ will always be ready for a dive trip. As a self-confessed “WWW” (Warm Water Wimp), she might not be as eager as me to jump in the water in San Diego over the holidays. But she shares my passion for diving—after all, that’s how we met—so talking her into a trip to the Caribbean will be almost as easy as convincing her to go shopping at the mall. (Well, I did say almost.)

Mike diving Catalina Island's kelp forests, Winter 2005


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