After our non victorious medallion hunt at Feigh, we decided to get bring our tanks to the headquarters to get filled and then bring our bellies to Zorbaz for a filling of a different kind. We left the campgrounds not a moment too soon as the storm started.
Once at Zorbaz we were mostly dry. We ordered a couple zzaz (I would normally say zzas, but we were at Zorbaz, so I feel zzaz would be the appropriate plural). During slice #2 of the Jose Zorbaz with a 2% chance of black olive, I felt the ball on my tongue ring pop off. Woops. I promptly proceeded to the bathroom to screw it back on where I realized the acrylic ball had a large crack in it. Crap. Cross Lake at 9:30 pm doesn’t offer much options for the piercing enthusiast. I called three places in Brainerd, but no luck. I would have to wait until the morning and hope for the best.
When we left Zorbaz it was full fledged storm mode. The quick run to the truck got me soaked in the process. Upon arriving at the cabin we quickly unloaded our bags, my pillows got just a bit soggy. I decided hanging up my wet suit wasn’t going to do much good so I opted to leave it in a ball in one of the trucks. Curtis & Sweeny hung it up later which was a nice gesture, but it didn’t do much good.
I slept crappy the entire night. I kept having dreams that the ball came loose and I repeatedly woke up to check its integrity. On top of being tired I spent most of the morning hacking up phlegm. Fortunately a trip to Sportsman’s for breakfast made me feel a bit better. I decided my normal order of the Ike Muffin would have too much wear and tear on the jewelry so I opted for scrambled eggs and toast instead.
After breakfast we headed to the headquarters for the next three dive sites and medallion clue. Adam met us there, increasing our buddy group to a whopping 5. The clue was a location hint and apparently our dive the night before was bound be fruitless. I decided to opt out of the first dive. For one I didn’t much feel like coughing the entire time I was submerged, and two I didn’t want to have my tongue ring fall apart when there would be no way to salvage it. The boys decided on PADI #79. I happily hung out in Ted’s truck, watching him and Sweeny put on cold wet suits. It was quite a chilly morning. Polar opposite of the “thick” weather the day before. I used the downtime to call Nick and chit chat. Shortly after the boys got in the water the sun came out. I took the opportunity to lay my wet suit out in the sun for optimal drying time.
Once the boys’ dive was done we hightailed it back to the headquarters to drop off our tanks before the van left. Then Ted was kind enough to bring me to the piercing parlor in Brainerd for a replacement tongue ring. A couple miles from Brainerd my top ball popped off again, but this time the ball cracked completely in half. It was an awkward few minutes of talking, but I managed. Luckily the parlor had quite the selection and I was able to get exactly the barbell I wanted: 5/8″ 14 gauge with acrylic balls. The balls were slightly larger than the last ones (tee-hee) so it took the day to get used to it. While we were in town we grabbed lunch at Hot Stuff Pizza and some coffee at Caribou. Mmmm.
Back at the dive site they were ready to announce the next medallion clue and set of dive sites. The clue was “Bear Paws, Rabbits, Cold Weather…” Curtis pinpointed Snowshoe as the site and we raced away. During our drive there Ted and I were contemplating the best method of finding the medallion. Do we spread out and comb the area in a line? Or do we split in two groups and go in different directions? We decided it would depend on whether or not we had company. After we were on the road for a little bit the traffic thinned out. It seemed we would be the first at the pit. Ted said he would feel a lot better if there wasn’t one car behind Mike & Curtis. After a moment of contemplation I told him I thought it was Adam, and after that we were much at ease.
Unfortunately when we arrived at Snowshoe there were already two divers about ready to get in in the water. Jolly old Mark and a young man who we later found out was Mark’s daughter’s boyfriend. We suited up as quickly as we could to beat some late arrivers into the water. Our game plan was to spread out and head to the right, the opposite direction of Team Mark.