The week before our trip to Florida was a total blur. I was busy at work with a big project and Tina was making last minute preparations getting the house ready for us to be gone for 7 days. We also were finally able to start doing our homework.
The homework is due just a few days before the class and you’re required to do it this way so that it’s fresh in your mind when you get to Fundies. Tina was chomping at the bit to begin the homework because she loves studying and learning. I was excited to start the homework because I was tired of her complaining that she wanted homework. So it was a big relief for both of us when we finally got the assignments. The study material and questions cover the basics of the GUE philosophy, gas management, nitrox and many other things. It does take some time to complete but it’s not so difficult that it it should scare people away from taking GUE classes. Of course there is basic math but there are plenty of examples to follow. Since Tina and I tend to be competitive academically we both did our homework separately. It wasn’t until one of us got stuck that we actually talked about it. There were some frustrating points with the gas planning that we eventually found out are being addressed in future edits of the material. Mainly the frustration stemmed from my complete dependency of dimensional analysis for everything I do (it’s the engineer in me). And some problems had inconsistent use of units. For the non engineer this wouldn’t matter. That being said; the gas planning section is very thorough and for a person whom enjoys knowing the details to the n’th degree it was actually fun.
One of the other things that Mer requires for homework, is a picture of all your gear so that she can address any incompatibilities ahead of time. Since neither Tina or I can just do the bare minimum, and since power point is our second language; we made our presentation in slide show format. Tina finished hers first and made me look like a copy cat when I did a similar thing. We were just having fun but I can imagine the look on Mer’s face when she got the emails containing our gear presentations.
We had planned to get up early and drive to High Springs on tuesday the 23rd of June. I had to work on Monday and as per usual it was a long day trying to accomplish all the tasks prior to leaving for a week and I got home pretty late. We had packed our gear in the truck the night before so it was just a matter of getting some sleep. We like to travel at night so we set our Alarms for 1am and went to bed as soon as I got home from work.
It felt like only minutes after I fell asleep that the alarm went off. We both rolled out of bed, fired up the Keurig and got a dose of caffein to start our long day. We both were excited and anxious to begin the drive and I desperately needed a vacation. So with the truck loaded, the Puppies kissed and hugged goodbye; we finally pulled out of the driveway and began our 12 hour journey to the east.
We made really good time through Texas and into Louisiana where we made our first stop at this tiny gas station along I10 for some food and to fuel up. I think it was somewhere just out side of Lafayette. We both quickly ate something that was supposed to be a breakfast burrito but wasn’t. Driving from Houston to Florida is a really beautiful drive and barring some unfortunate traffic event, it’s not really that difficult. The longest leg seems be through Louisiana and we like seeing the swamps. There is just something magical about the swamps. Tina was spotting gators we drove over the Atchafalaya Basin bridge. Finally we made it into Mississippi then into Alabama where we stopped for a tailgate picnic at a slightly more upscale gas station. The trip was gong fantastic and we were making good time.
With the trip just a little more then half over we crossed into Florida and it was a welcome site. Florida must have quite a lot more funding for state highway because they really keep the roads and highways clean. We had planned to stay in the Divers House, which is a very quaint one story rancher just outside of High Springs and our ETA would be 3pm. Certainly by the time we got within an hour of High Springs we were both very ready to get out of the car. We had the address for the Divers House and found it with little trouble. As we pulled into the drive way we were exhausted. Mer was supposed to meet us there with a key but she got held up so the care taker for the house came over and let us in. We were pleasantly surprised how comfortable it was. It was to be our home for the next 5 days.
Mer stopped in a little later after we had a chance to unload all the non dive related stuff from the truck. We packed plenty of snacks and food and it was nice not to have to spend a ton of money on eating at a restaurant every night. Mer told us that Fundies would start bright and early on Wednesday the 24th and we were to meet at EE (Extreme Exposure) at 9am. Both Tina and I needed sleep badly but we were both pretty excited about the week, After chatting with Mer, unpacking and relaxing; we Finally called it a day at about 10pm.