Moving quickly in Vietnam

When I realized that I would be coming home on April 18th after all, I began to move very quickly. I am now halfway up the coast of Vietnam, and the trip has been amazing. The coastline is dramatic, with grand sweeping views that go on for miles. The coast line is rimmed with huts, coconut palms and white beaches, or it drops far away, only to be seen as a white ribbon hundreds of feet below the road which borders the sea cliffs.

As we pulled out of Mui Ne, flocks of alabaster birds soared over the tops of the palms, drifting gently on the sea breeze. Alas, I think it will be the last of the good weather I will see for quite some time. By the time we arrived in Nah Trang, the sky had turned slate grey and was begrudgingly sending misty rain to earth. We had come here to SCUBA dive, and diving was what we were going to do.

We got up early and jumped into a van that had come to take us to the pier, windshield wipers running the whole time. We helped move all of the gear form the van to the boat and headed off. Three minutes into the ride and we are wide awake. We have already rammed another boat in the harbor. Slowly, and in reverse, but the jarring crunch of wood and dried, crackling paint was enough to throw us back into our benches. We are the only two people who thought diving would be a good idea today, and so we have the boat to ourselves.

Huddled in the small, cramped captain’s cockpit, we stayed warm by cramming six people in to the compartment and sipping the local rice wine that was handed out by the dive master. (this is after the dives…) The cabin smelled of incense, diesel and old wood. It was both enticing and at the same time overwhelming. The incense comes from the alter on the front hub where the captain has been lighting sticks as offerings nonstop all morning, apparently without success because it drizzled the hole time.

The dive was fun, if uneventful. Visibility was so so, but I enjoyed it none the less. The Iceman loved it and has stayed there to get certified. (Once he got over the jelly fish stings he got by putting one in his mouth… it had clung to his regulator.) He will be one of four people in Iceland to have both his pilot’s license and his SCUBA license.

I will post pictures when I get a chance, internet here is slow. I am currently waiting for people to move out of a dorm room so I can grab a spot. I am now in Hoi An, which is a rainy old town, but I like it. Off to Breakfast!