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.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Well, I can't call myself "bone dry" anymore. Last week, I attended a happy hour put on by a local scuba diving club. This morning, one of the divers I met took me to a local quarry for some real "Virginia diving." I was so desperate to get wet, I would have been happy diving the local creekbed! Which was fortunate. Had I been less enthusiastic, the temperature might have talked me out of it. As it was, I dived the coldest water I've ever been in... close to the bottom of the lake, around 70 feet, I looked at my gauge: 42 degrees! BRRRRR!

I can't say I saw the kinds of things I've normally seen during past dives—no lobsters, no bat rays, no octopi. But I saw lots of other unexpected things: a truck, a swing set, a school bus, a dentist's chair... a small plane. These Virginia divers are creative! I even spotted an old Chevy on cinder blocks... No divers spotting a mullet nearby, though.

Cold as it was, I had a great time. The coldest day diving beats the warmest day in an office. But I can't say I'll be diving the quarry again anytime soon. Sure, this week's weather forecast calls for high temperatures in the 40s, with a chance of a White Thanksgiving. That quarry water won't be getting warmer anytime soon. But I'd still try another dive—except that today was the last diving day of the season. I guess 42 degrees was cold enough for them. And now that I think about it, I guess it was for me too.

The schoolbus at Millbrook Quarry (I hopped aboard and swam to the other end).


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