Change of Scenery

Back in Montana and high on life and some of the country’s most liberal medical marijuana laws. In the few weeks that I’ve been back I’ve driven many hundreds of miles across the state performing with the band I play in and working with a documentary crew out of L.A.  What an amazing state – so much amazing country all around.  After several months of water and sand and fish, it’s nice to be back in the land of furry mammals.  And there is nothing quite like seeing Montana through the eyes of a crew from L.A. to help me appreciate what I have here.  It’s a wonderful thing to return home, regardless of where you’re coming from, and feel that the place you live is the coolest place you’ve been.

The few days before I left the Bahamas were stormy and turbulent.  Tropical, summertime, storm cells bumped around out on the ocean and occasionally collided with islands.   Sheets of rain came down during the night and winds picked up enough to blow boats off of their moorings.  The frogs were delighted – at least that’s my interpretation of their singing during and after every passing rain.  Fresh water is always welcome on those remote little spits of sand barely sticking up out of the ocean.

And on my last dive before I left, I attained my own little freediving nirvana.  Freediving is simply breath-hold diving.   However, a little practice reveals it to be a complex and richly rewarding discipline.  On this particular dive I had found a school of bait fish seeking shelter in a tunnel under the rocky reef.  There was a lionfish and a trumpet fish inside feeding on them and I wanted to capture some video of it.  Both lionfish and trumpet fish hunt by moving extremely slowly until they are very close and then striking fast.  In order to film this I had to dive down to where they were, set up, and then wait as long as I could for them to forget about me and go back to hunting.  While waiting patiently on one of these dives I felt something moving on my left arm and looked down to see a pair of cleaner fish cleaning me!  I took this as my arrival at the next level of blending in to that world below the surface.  Although maybe I just needed a proper shower.  Driving back in the boat at sunset I was happy to have gotten the shot but happier that months (and years now) of diving had brought me to a place where I can feel, if only for a moment, at one with the underwater world.

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