Our first stop on our two-week cruise was Chania, Crete, a lovely port on the third biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the biggest island in the collection of over a thousand (and perhaps even up to 6,000) that make up the Greek Isles. We were undecided about what to do in Chania – while the city does have several maritime museums and so on, and while we are fanatic about Greek food, we weren’t sold on taking a tour – so we did a little bit of searching and decided to go for a dive. Scuba diving, that is, through Chania Diving Center, a company owned by a local and run by a group of (seemingly all attractive) youngish middle-aged men. We’re not certified, and while we plan on getting certified while in Barcelona, we have never been diving, so this would be a bit of an adventure.
We were picked up from the port by our guide, Dimitris, and carted to the diving center. The day started off with a bang, and by that I mean that within the first 15 minutes of being in Chania, Food had already broken something. When we reached the dive center she tried to unbuckle herself and had succeeded in somehow breaking the seat belt. Dimitris tried to fix the latching mechanism (or however the thing works), but Food ended up climbing out of it while both Dimitris and I made fun of her and her penchant for destroying things.
After we signed a few forms (apparently Food has a breathing problem as well), we were introduced to the gear and Dimitris eyeballed us to figure out what size we’d be in both footwear and wetsuits. I think he was being a bit generous in his estimate for me, because at the end of the dive my upper chest realm had gone from convex to concave… if you know what I mean.
A thirty-minute discussion about how to not die underwater later and we were on our way to the inlet where we’d be meandering our way to a watery grave. Loutraki Beach, not to be confused with the Dothraki from Game of Thrones, was secluded at this time of year and had beautiful clear water. Or at least that’s what we noticed when the Grecian god that was getting out of the water had cleared from view. Dimitris parked, gave us our wetsuits, and, as we sat on the back bumper of the van squeezing our way into the thicker cousin of Saran Wrap, the tan, leaner, cuter cousin of the Hulk came swaggering up to us in a very tiny Speedo.
After talking to him for 0.2 seconds, it was clear that not only did he know he was phenomenally hot, but also he was not Greek and he was definitely military. His questions ranged from “Come here often?” to “Did you fall from heaven?” and meanwhile I was literally packing my limbs into sausage casing and jumping up and down like a fish out of water to get my body to adjust to the fresh hell I was putting it through. Let’s just say it wasn’t my most gorgeous moment, but fortunately, I believe he was resolutely trying to look at our… eyes. After he walked away, Food and I were nearly on the ground laughing and Dimitris walked over to say “Do you want to just stay, have a beer? I can send you photos of other dives; no one can tell it’s not you.” But, no, we were determined, if a lot giggly.
We’d squished our way into suits, been strapped into what amounted to the weight of a small child on our backs and waist, and Food had nearly bit the dust numerous times (poor Dimitris basically carried her to the water), and then we were floating and doing checks on all the goggles, fins, tubes, etc. Everything was perfect except for my face. Apparently when you have cheeks that are each the size of heirloom tomatoes (and turn the color of such when you blush) it causes quite the problem when trying to keep water from flooding your goggles. I ended up having to steal Dimitris goggles after ten minutes of floating around because my “cheeks make the Suez Canal every time [I] smile”.
On to the diving. We were colossally clumsy for the first… all of it. Food is now telling me she didn’t know you could fall when already in the water, but here’s a gif proving she is fully capable of such.
Dimitris took photos on his GoPro, and while every photo with Food in it looks as graceful as a… cow on ice… somehow I look a-okay. So much so that Dimitris made me have an impromptu photo shoot. I was born a human, but clearly I’m at least half mermaid.
We dove for about an hour, saw tons of fish, a few starfish, some sea urchin, and an octopus, and at the end Dimitris told us we were very good for our first time. I’m sure he says that to all the girls.