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Jean and I had a one-week break in Florida, mainly to see the wildlife, both above and below water-level, and also to visit Universal Studios in Orlando. If you are thinking of a similar quick visit and you haven't been to Florida (or even the USA) before what follows may be of some small guidance.

Dodge Intrepid

The rather magnificent Dodge Intrepid, with automatic transmission, air-conditioning, cruise control and excellent radio/CD/tape player which was the most basic and cheapest vehicle we could rent from Dollar Rentals at Sanford Airport, Orlando.

Firstly, our general impression was very good! People were a lot friendlier than we had expected, it was easy to find places to stay at reasonable prices all over the state, and it was easy to drive there, even for people more used to driving on the left! Our biggest problem was the signposting, which may be the same everywhere in the USA. Signs are posted right at the turn-off points, so by the time you see them it is usually too late to turn off. Also everything is called an "exit", even the continuation of the road that you are actually on, which can be very confusing! But the people we met were wonderful. We spent most of our time lost in the country districts and people went to enormous trouble to get us back on the right route. One young black man who had been doing something to his car with the hood open actually insisted that we follow him for about four miles so that he could show us where to turn off. Then he turned around and went back: the journey had been completely for our benefit. One person like that tends to create a lasting memory of a whole holiday. Everywhere we went we struck up conversations with the local people and were made very welcome.

Wooden Indians

The wooden Indians at this little bar and restaurant in Yeehaw proved very good listeners.

We began our holiday by driving down US1 (Florida's Turnpike) to Boynton Beach, which had been highly recommended as a diving site. In fact it was okay, but not really outstanding.

It did provide the first opportunity to try out my new underwater camera, a Sea and Sea MotorMarine MX 10. It works fine but I'm still learning how to get the best out of it (for instance, you mustn't breathe for a few seconds before taking a picture because the bubbles get in front of the lens!).

Jean getting to know Stan, a British Airways Captain, on the boat out from Boynton Beach (taken with the MX10 above water).

Setting Out.

I also discovered that fish won't stand still to be photographed. Used up a lot of air chasing a beautiful French Angel about the size of a bicycle wheel. She just didn't seem to understand what's required of the underwater model.

Hello, Beautiful

Hello, beautiful. What's a nice girl like you doing in a hold like this?

Don't Go Away!

Hey! Take it easy! Don't go away! I just want to talk!

Slow Down!

This is getting ridiculous. SLOW DOWN!

French Angel Fish



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