Almost Barracuda Breakfast

Almost Barracuda Breakfast

During our two weeks  in Colombia, Monday was the first time we feared for our lives.  And it wasn’t because of some guerrilla drug-lord with a machine gun or someone off the streets flashing a machete while demanding all of our valuables.  In fact, we were 60-feet underwater scuba diving.  We’ve been diving with barracudas countless times over the last 8 years.   They don’t scare us one bit.  They usually just mind their own business and dart around in large schools.  This big guy was different though.  He was the largest one we’ve ever seen (6 – 8 feet long) and he was pissed or hungry or maybe both.  He stared the dive master and us down and twirled around while opening his giant jaws showing all of his razor-like teeth.  He wasn’t budging.  Just floating in one spot and ready to pounce.  I’m pretty sure we all almost wet our wetsuits!  We all stayed very still and eventually swam away slowly.  When we came to the surface, the dive master told us that he was about to take off his oxygen tank to barricade the impending attack.  He said he’d never seen a barracuda do that.  Unfortunately, the other dive group had the camera on this dive so we don’t have any photos of him.

That Great Barracuda wasn’t the only thing we saw during our first day of diving in Taganga.  We saw a rock full of venomous but beautiful lion fish.  Although they can be deadly, they are gorgeous with zebra-patterned long, flowing fins.   We also encountered an octopus that shot out a big cloud of black-ink at us.  I thought I’d seen two octopus but when we got on the boat Bryan and the dive master informed me it was the same one.  He’d just changed from black to tan to match his surroundings.  And of course we saw tons of huge moray eels, colorful fish, several venomous scorpion fish, beautiful coral formations, and some lobsters.  When we were moving from one dive site to the other, our boat was surrounded by pilot whales.  It was amazing!  Taganga is by far the cheapest diving spot we’ve been to (almost half of what we normally pay for a dive).  We went with the highly recommended dive company Aquantis.  For two dives, all of the equipment, lunch, and our own dive master it was $60!

Taganga is most known for it’s cheap diving, but it’s also a popular spot for backpackers.  It’s a little fishing town set around a horseshoe-shaped bay and surrounded by mountains.  The main strip along the water has a long line of tiki-hut restaurants and bars.  We didn’t get a very good first impression of Taganga, probably because we arrived on a Sunday and the place was filled with people and litter.  But after the weekend crowds cleared, we’ve come to like the little town during our 5-day stay.  Too much trash is a reoccurring theme in our travels of Colombia.  I know cleaning it all up is easier said than done but it would make such a huge difference.  Occasionally you’ll see the roadside cleanup crews, but they’re going to need to bring in an army of these guys to tackle some areas.  More upsetting to me than the trash, is the huge population of stray, breeding dogs.  I would love to bring some vets in to spay, neuter, and bathe them all.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice place, but could use some tidying up.

As we travel closer to the Amazon, it’s time for us to start taking the dreaded malaria pills.  Patient First prescribed us Mefloquine, which you only have to take once a week.  It’s known to cause night terrors and diarrhea . . . fun times!  Bryan took his for first time yesterday and hasn’t had any symptoms yet.  Luckily, before I took my first pill, Bryan had the bright idea that the Mefloquine might interact badly with the medicine I’m already on.  I wish our doctor at Patient First had thought of that.  It’s all over the internet that the two medicines can cause major central nervous system damage.  Thanks doc!  Just what I need! So we went to the neighboring town of Santa Marta in search of another alternative to malaria prevention – Doxycycline.   Another $35 later I only have a 20-day supply.  Needless to say, we’re pretty pissed at Patient First.  I thought potential drug-interaction was one of the major things doctors look into before prescribing patients a new medication.  Don’t worry though, Mama Waugh is on a mission to have some words with Patient First!

In a few hours we will spend our last night in Taganga doing a night dive with our friends Lauren and Bobby (from Wales).  In the morning we will be Venezuela-bound! We’ll be without internet for a couple of weeks as we trek to Angel Falls (highest in the world) and boat down the Amazon River. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Comments (11)
  • Gayle Sturdivant

    December 14th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you guys!!!

  • Vicky

    December 14th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Merry Christmas to you both too!! I hope we have a bunch of updates from you once you get back online! Enjoy yourself!

  • Ayisha

    December 14th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    What a diving experience, eh? And, crazy about the meds…see, Bryan’s good for something. (Just kidding, of course.)

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all, as well.

    Miss you!!!

    *What is the name of the company you went through to obtain your governess position?

  • Kimberly Bruce

    December 14th, 2011 at 5:40 pm


  • Tammy

    December 14th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Sounds pretty exciting! Glad I get to live this through you. Thanks for the updates and be safe.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both!

  • Ian Waugh

    December 14th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    You guys have a great Xmas and new year… I’m pretty sure this new years night is something yinz will remember forever ;)..

  • Evelyn

    December 14th, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Hi guys! Loving the posts thus far, looks like you’re really enjoying yourselves minus the Barracuda incident. I would have pee’d in my wetsuit for sure. Wish you guys a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!!

  • Mom Munch

    December 15th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    It was wonderful seeing you guys on Skype the other night. You both look relaxed and happy. Thank you, Dr. Bryan, for protecting our little girl.
    Merry Christmas!
    love you both.

  • Crystal

    December 18th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Glad Bryan was thinking of that…and glad you did your research! Go momma Waugh! Merry Christmas to you guys! You should take a pic with a santa hat floating down the Amazon!!

    • Crystal

      December 18th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      P.S. I really wanna skype with you guys too! We’ll have a little skype party with Matt and Lani over too 😉

  • Humor News

    December 20th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    So I have wondered in a very unique page good stuff you have here

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