16 November 2009


Dear Family and Friends,

Incase you have not heard Maxine and I have finally found a place to settle down and call home after almost literally searching the globe over for a suitable location. After my first job in Nigeria I came back to London briefly to gather my family and jump on a plane to Bali, Indonesia for a three week holiday of diving and surfing. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we have decided to move here for a year to do a trial period and see how it goes. So far so good.

There are great waves everyday, the weather is probably the best on the planet (that is if you like sunshine, pleasant breezes and an average year round sea and air temp of 82 degrees).
Culturally, Bali is an amazing place, Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world, however Bali is predominantly Hindu, the place is steeped in tradition and beautiful Hindu temples are abound, the locals can be seen putting their daily offerings to the different Gods out at all times of the day. The Balinese people are friendly, genuine, honest, happy, and a peaceful people. Healthcare is not free (the way we like it) but the quality is world class, just as good as anything in the UK, France, or America (health insurance is a lot cheaper though). Also the schools are very good quality, and one has the choice of putting your child through the British, American, French, Indonesian, or Balinese system.

One aspect of bali we love is the mix of people, places, and activities. All sorts of tourists and expats visit and live in Bali, if you want the beach lifestyle it is there, if you want mountains they are there, if you want peaceful arty countryside living it is there, and if you want the madness of Kuta with nightclubs etc... it is always there. As far as surfing is concerned it does not get much better, the only places that are better are farther out islands in Indonesia called the Mentawaiis. The diving is also supreme, Indonesia again in my opinion (and most marine biologists) has the best diving in the world. Not to mention it is cheap, you can get great meals for a dollar, sometimes less, and you can get really great meals for two dollars. Perhaps one of the nicest things is how cheap help is, the average salary for a full time maid is around ninety dollars a month! The biggest downside is the fact that we are half way around the globe from most of you reading this but in some cases that may be a bonus.... just joking!!

Seriously we miss you all and are giving you an open invitation to come and stay with us whenever you want, we have a spacious abode and would more then happily let you use our spare room, and if you want to bring someone Im sure Lilly wouldn't mind sharing her room. We plan on coming to the States once to twice a year but will see how it goes and what we can afford, certainly once Lilly turns two it will be limited to once a year.

Lilly is developing into a little toddler. She is almost 14 months old and nearly has a full set of teeth, she can run, pick her nose, stand in the shallow end of the pool, likes getting pulled around on the boogey board at the beach, loves sand but not the taste, is starting to have slight tantrums to give us a sneak peak at what to expect later, her favorite word is "no". She is constantly bossing our maid around and denouncing her parents instructions with the word "nonono". Lilly loves all the Bali dogs. Dog is her second favorite word, and apparently anything on four legs is a dog, kind of like anyone who drives a motor bike or surfs is dada.

Maxine is also doing very well and becoming accustomed to not having to clean up much of anything, although I am not so sure she ever has. She is still breast feeding Lilly and as such cant go on full day diving trips so she is being deprived of the underwater world for a few more months. Soon we will get a surfboard for her so she can spend some time with me whilst Im not away working. Speaking of work, Im starting to forget what that is... Actually the recession has affected my industry negatively and work is not as easy to come by as it was, monsoon season (which shuts down diving operations) in the Far East doesn't help my efforts either. The job in Nigeria ended because the vessel we were working on was not fit for the particular job we were doing and was demobilized. Nothing definite yet but I have had some job offers (which I unwisely turned down), am looking for work and am confident something will come up soon, in the meantime I will just have to suffer and surf. Most likely I will be going back to Africa or to Abu Dhabi which is in the Mid East, otherwise I will get something in the Far East when monsoon season is over in January.

P.S. getting here is not as expensive as you might think, we are experts at finding cheap deals so if your interested let us know.

If you have Skype look us up, our names as you may have guessed are Peter Fontaine Denton and Maxine Denton, usernames are monadenton and max1n3 respectively.

Lots of Love,

Fontaine, Maxine, and Lilliana

27 March 2009


Dear PADI,

Having traveled the world working as a PADI instructor I have fallen in love with diving and the underwater world.  Starting my journey in Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras I was eighteen years old and did not have the slightest idea of what diving was all about except for the fact that I knew I would love it.  I spent sixteen months in Roatan accumulating masses of dives, working for various shops, encountering all types of underwater creatures from Blennys to Whale Sharks and progressed to become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI).  I grew up at the beach surfing and have always had an immense amount of respect and love for the outdoors and a special passion for our aquatic realms.  I have great respect for the level of instructing, safety and environmentally friendly diving practices that most of the dive shops advocate and abide by in Roatan.  These rules are simple and make a lot of sense and on paper concur with what PADI stands for, to name a few general rules; "leave only bubbles, take only pictures", "do not touch anything",  and "no feeding the fish".

After becoming slightly bored with the relatively bland diving in Roatan (when compared to the tropical Indo-Pacific), my partner and I decided to fly to the Pacific and found ourselves in Guam.  Whilst working at Guam Tropical Dive Station (GTDS) an accredited "PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre" I encountered a different sort of diving culture which left me in shock and awe.  As an instructor at GTDS my job included, leading fun dives, doing Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) and other courses, guiding the snorkel tours and helping with the banana boating.  My least favorite task was instructing the DSD experience GTDS style,  this includes walking across coral reef that extends out 200 metres to a waste high depth where I would then brief my students, the four students would then grasp my dive float as I literally pulled all four out to the feeding site, each DSD would then come down the rope and kneel on the bottom at which point the instructor hands out frozen hot dogs and a feeding frenzy would ensue.  This obsession with feeding the fish was not a personal choice, it was a job requirement, when I expressed my dismay about feeding the fish I was told I had to do it, feeding the fish is a GTDS obsession.  GTDS also offers fun dives ("fun" is an interesting way to describe it), in which the boat is loaded with fourteen "fun" divers, most of whom have no diving experience other then the OW course (at least on paper) or the DSD "experience", these fourteen novices were only guided by two dive masters on a good day.  Watching the swathe of Japanese tourists attempting to put their gear together was scarily amusing, it was common to see people thoroughly confused when trying to figure out what went wrong with the set up, with my ever lasting PADI patience I would show them that they had their BCD upside down and backwards and usually the same was wrong with their regulator.  I say "scary" because we are about to do a deep dive through "Blue Hole" which goes down to 130 feet plus...way plus, one could descend into the bottomless abyss of the Mariana Trench (deepest trench in the entire ocean) as it literally lies 10,911 meters or 35,798 feet or 6.78 miles below the dive site.  With my own eyes I have seen the long time Dive Master (DM) at GTDS taking DSD divers through the Blue Hole at nearly 140 feet, it is of sheer amazement to me how none of these divers have ended up at the bottom of the trench nearly seven miles below (one or two probably have).  After going through the "Hole" I realize that the circus is only beginning and that things are obviously getting very boring and we need to do some fish feeding.  Watching Moray Eels swim from about 100 feet away through an entire group of novice divers on the scent path of a hotdog in the DMs pocket is convincing testimony to Morays astronomical sense of smell,  when considering how sharp Morays teeth are, how keen their sense of smell is, how poor their eyesight is, and most importantly how similar a human finger looks to a hot dog, then one can only picture the hazard to the feeder.

Now the second dive is when things got really fun.  Picture a once amazing, now mediocre and significantly damaged seamount of coral reef about 200 meters wide by 300 meters long in a big oval at about 18 meters depth.  This reef was encircled with reef balls, not for the purposes that are usually attributed to reef balls which usually consist of; reconstructing damaged coral reefs, providing a dive site for a desolate sandy bottom, or to provide homes for poor homeless fish who have been evicted out of their homes due to the recent housing crisis.  No the sole purpose of reef balls in Guam is to provide a convenient mooring for floating mesh bags which one can fill with "fish food" a.k.a. chum (which attract massive Jacks who were known to have become aggressive biters), probably consisting of frozen hot dogs and any discarded human fingers found from the previous dive.  Incidentally the reef balls also make perfect homes for the Giant Moray.  We all descend onto the reef, then the "divers" who do not really know how to swim (much less dive) proceed to do the reef crawl and grasp healthy corals and crawl their way along the reef following the ring master, I mean dive master, who then stops at a reef ball and with his magic metal wand puts pieces of hot dog on the end and antagonizes the Giant Moray into snapping for the hotdogs, then after feeding him a few pieces and pissing him off properly goes ahead and decides that its a good idea to pick the Moray up and lay him across his shoulders, like its his very own pet Python, you can imagine the look of amazement on the fourteen Japanese coral crunchers.  At this point I am throwing up in my mouth with disgust at the sheer and utter lack of respect for an amazing eco-system which is literally disappearing in front of our eyes all for the sake of impressing some inept Japanese sponge smashers for a few seconds.  This is not all folks, I come up from the dive to find Nemo a.k.a. a Clown Fish in a bucket which the other DM had caught somehow, have we learned nothing from "Finding Nemo".  The boat captain and mate are seen spear fishing whilst we are doing our safety stop, with their catch tied to their wastes (this is a regular occurrence which happens at every opportunity and is very hush hush, did you know the vast majority of shark attacks on divers happen to spear fishers, which has happened in Guam more then once), need I say more!!!  This is all coming from a "respected accredited PADI Five Star Instructor Development Center".  This place turns out lots of instructors and it makes me sick to my stomach to think what kind of example they are setting for their students around the world.  Its not just GTDS either the other PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center on the island is just as bad.  

Feeding fish angers me because it upsets the natural balance of things, you are feeding fish hot dogs who usually eat algae, reeking havoc not only on the fishes digestive systems but also on the coral life itself.  Coral is in constant competition with algae, if the algae grows over the coral then it can not produce food from the sun (most corals receive 90% of their nutrients from the sunlight), if the fish are not eating the algae then it grows out of control and suffocates the coral it smothers.  Have you ever seen an algal reef?  Ever seen a thriving coral reef?  Then you should know why feeding fish is an atrocity (unless you are blind or brain dead), not to mention the potential for lost fingers (which has happened in Guam), and the increased risk of shark attack as your invoking a feeding frenzy which naturally attracts larger and more potentially life threatening predators in their feeding mode.  I love sharks and have seen hundreds in the water at a time whilst working in Palau onboard the Palau Aggressor, however its totally different when you see a shark by natural occurence and when you see a shark because it has been attracted by frenzied feeding and an empty stomach.  Feeding fish also makes the fish relate humans to food, I have been full on attacked by schools of Chubs in Roatan because they were expecting a free meal and I did not have one to give.  One can only wonder how long it takes, if ever, for the fish to go back into normal feeding patterns.  Now I am only talking about hot dogs and Butterflyfish, when you take it to the next level to Tuna heads and Bull Sharks you are on another level that is wrong for the exact same reasons but indefinitely more hazardous and potentially life threatening, not just to the ill deserving humans, but to the healthy existence of a species, in this case the already severely depleted species of sharks as a whole. 

Now the Captain of the boat spear fishing with the mate whilst divers are in the water is especially disconcerting, what happens if the anchor goes loose and the dive boat goes adrift?  What if your spear fishing attracts nearby Tiger Sharks?  What happens if the Captain accidentally mistakes the Japanese DSD for a Trigger Fish?  PADI, its about setting the example for a safe, sustainable, healthy relationship between humans and the underwater world, by letting dive shops such as GTDS use your name and also allowing them to teach future instructors under the PADI name shows that you are no better then the host dive shop, the buck stops with you and you should take responsibility.  I cant believe that in your OW video you have an Instructor holding a Sea Urchin which is a poisonous spiny animal and at the same time tell your students "do not touch it if you do not know what it is", how about you tell them not to touch ANYTHING!!!!  I know what a Touch Me Not sponge looks like but does that mean its a good idea to pick it up only to go into anaphylactic shock!  Your pictures in PADI dive magazines never cease to amaze me either, why in the world do your dive models insist on breathing off of their conspicuously marked alternate air sources?  Why are their gauges always hanging out?  Why are they always touching the marine life?  Please I beg you as a PADI diver, clean up your image and do some policing of the shops you endorse because the situation has gotten out of hand, a good place to start would be Guam Tropical Dive Station (www.gtds.com), next stop Canary Islands, then I would suggest doing a full tour of Thailand.  In three months I will be available to become your first PADI Police officer (although I would prefer to police Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea), my wife would gladly join me as well.  We are not looking to shut operations down or to decrease your revenue, we are looking to enrich your image in the name of environmental sustainability and safety and to provide insight and education to errant dive shops.  We will even work for free only expecting all of our costs to be covered.

  Thankfully my wife and I implemented our beliefs and diving practices while working at GTDS (in fact in every shop we have ever worked in, across the globe) and proved that you do not need to feed fish and that you can actually teach your DSDs how to dive for themselves rather then dragging them about the reef and still make money, funnily enough the customers always had rave reviews about us and went away happier, more confident, more knowledgable, and more likely to continue there diving careers when compared to learning by way of the GTDS diving doctrine.  I know we will not be able to enforce good diving practices on every shop in the world, how about we start with all PADI 5 Star IDC Centers.  I know that most shops set a fantastic example for their customers but many as I have shown do not.  I would ask you PADI, do you agree?  I have had similar experiences at other dive shops all over the world which host Instructor Development Courses, it is atrocious to see that you do not police your organization better.  Your name is being smeared in the mud by dive shops such as GTDS.  I would suggest that you hire people such as myself to travel the world diving with suspect operations to see if they project the PADI image properly by way of sufficient environmental and safety standards.  I look to you PADI, to clean your act up and to get the basics down.

Happy Bubbles,

Fontaine Denton PADI OWSI #192474

8 March 2009

Recent Activity and Future Plans

Dear Friends and Family,

A lot has been happening lately in our newly formed family.  For the past three weeks we have been on holiday on the North Island of New Zealand.  Initially I was not meant to go with Maxine, Lilly and Maxines mother, Julia, to New Zealand, instead I was supposed to go back to Virginia Beach to work with Seaward Marine Services maintaining the Navys ships to make some cash to pay the bills.  I left Maxine and Lilly on the first of February in London to head back to VB to work, stayed with Katie and Kyle for a lovely superbowl night in DC then headed down to VB.  When I checked my email that day I was delighted to see three emails with the subject "URGENT JOB OFFER" from the instructor of my weld inspection course in Scotland.  The year before hand I had been feverishly sending out CVs and calling companies all over the world to try and land a job like this one so you can imagine my delight at the news.  After some emailing and phone calls I received an official job offer from Euroflow Designs Limited which is a Nigerian company that specializes in Inspection of offshore oil platform installations, they have ongoing contracts with Shell. 

The job I am doing is a standard inspection job of a pier at the Liquid Natural Gas Terminal on Bonny Island, Nigeria.  The job entails inspection of all anodes and measurement of their depletion and effectiveness, and close detailed inspection of all important welds.  Every 5 years they have to do inspections such as these to please the insurance companies.  I will be staying on a "luxurious" expat camp with golf courses, bars, restaurants etc.. where all the expat workers stay, all heavily secured and safe.  I just met with the owner of Euroflow yesterday for lunch and he left a great impression on me.  There are definitely some companies and areas you nor any foreigner especially white Americans would ever want to work due to high risk of kidnap, however where I am working there has never been an incident and after talking with many people who live in Nigeria and also Security experts I am confident I will be fine and am not worried.  I dont have any exposure to Nigeria except for the airports and the LNG Terminal itself as it has a landing strip and I get flown straight from the airport to my work site.  I am very excited and due to fly out on Saturday night.  The company wants me to come out for the duration of the job which is 90 days so I will be missing Maxine and Lilly loads but will be able to see them everyday on Skype.  Afterwards I plan on taking three months off to make up for lost time.

After confirmation of this job I thought it wise to spend some of my money before I earned it and joined Max, Lilly and the extended family in New Zealand for a nice holiday and quality time before heading off to Nigeria.  At this moment in our lives we are searching the globe over for a suitable nesting spot where we can live, and have been for the past three years.  It is not an easy quest but we think we may have finally found our destination with New Zealand.  This is the long term plan anyway and we wont be in any mad dash to get settled in New Zealand as I may soon be on a one month on, one month off rotation for work and cant be going half way around the world every four weeks.  New Zealand is amazing, its not as warm as we like but that and distance are the only downfalls we can imagine.  The surfing is amazing with unlimited potential, the diving is good, its on the door step of the best diving in the world in South Asia and the South Pacific, healthcare is high quality and free, education is of a high standard and its a fantastic place to raise children, not to mention world class snowboarding and it is an outdoors paradise.  In NZ I met Maxines extended family who are all lovely, explored some different areas, did some extreme outdoor activities in Taupo including Jet Boating in a river and extreme acrobatics, did as much surfing as possible and dived the famous Poor Knights.  

Lilliana is five months old now and will be getting her first taste of solid food tomorrow in the form of mushed banana, we dont see it as being a particularly challenging feat as everything she gets her paws on goes straight into her mouth and promptly chewed to bits.  She can stand up quite well when holding onto something and even manages to take real numerous steps forward and back when we hold her hands and balance her, she should be walking in a few months and will immediately be put on golfing, surfing and scuba diving lessons, with snowboarding and skateboarding being optional.  She gets cuter everyday and we are loving being parents, we are blessed to have such a lovely, well behaved, travel friendly baby.

In other news I have progressed my interest and passion in underwater photography by getting some placings in a couple underwater photo contests and also my proudest accomplishment of managing to get a cover shot on London Diver Magazine, they used my picture for the cover and did a full page feature of my photos as well as a few other underwater photographers, all of which you can check out on www.londondivermagazine.co.uk.  I also managed to get a couple of my pictures in Intrepid Magazine which is a sporting magazine in New Zealand, luckily my dive buddy was a freelance writer for the magazine and needed some pictures to go along with his article.  None of which have made me any money but every bit helps to add to my CV to one day become a professional UW photographer which is what I plan to do during retirement.

In short the plan at the moment is to go to Virginia Beach for a couple weeks after Nigeria in June, then go set up camp somewhere tropical in the western hemisphere, probably in the Caribbean until we are ready to make the move to NZ.  Like any good plan this is highly flexible and likely to change.  Maxine, Lilly and myself hope to see you all and miss you all very much, we hope to see you when we are in the States and wish you all the best!

14 January 2009

Bailout Baloney

As I have said before I do hate bailing out the big banks (in my fantasy world I would like to see them crumble), however in the real world I know that it was necessary to save the worldwide economy from possible collapse. What I don't like is how it was gone about in the United States, take Gordon Brown for example, he bailed out the major players in Britain very swiftly and got a far better deal for the taxpayers in Britain then the Bush administration managed to get in the US. For example the government actually put some members on the boards of these banks, the UK government gets a 12% return in dividends, compared to Bush getting only 5% (pitiful), also Brown had REAL oversight, regulation, and transparency where Bush's oversight, transparency, and regulation was laughable.

What should really make your blood boil is the hidden legislation that acted as a massive windfall for the banks in the form of tax breaks for massive mergers, this is a piece of controversial legislation (tax code) which the banks have been pushing for years but have not been able to put through in normal times, however when the crisis hits it gets shoved through the back door as the initial 700 billion is taking all the attention through the front door, this was a major unlawful change to our tax code which wasn't even put to vote in congress (who found out about it in the NY Times) as it should have been. What is worth pointing out is that these banks because of this change in tax code were able to acquire other banks at zero cost and sometimes even a multi-billion dollar profit, when in reality they should have ben paying billions in taxes.

What is truly disgusting about this is that the whole reason we have had these massive bailouts is that these banks are perceived as too big to collapse, well what do you think is going to happen when we have legislation going through making it easier for the big banks to buy up all the small banks (for free? at a profit?), in the long run we will end up with only a few banks which are astronomically huge and they will never be allowed to fail based on the fear that if they collapse the world as we know it will end.

It is very ironic that the Bush administration started the presidency off by feverishly taking public money and putting into private hands and now at the end they are taking the private debt and putting into the taxpayers hands, thanks a lot!

Of course a bailout was essential, its the details and the substance of the bailout that is ludicrous.

You don't have to agree with me but that is my strong opinion which I can back up with sources.

20 December 2008

My beef with Globilization

Ive just had an enlightening conversation with a good friend Rob who is Maxine's brothers boyfriend. Rob is from Sydney, Australia and was elected out of 10 candidates (from all of Australia) at the time he graduated university to come and work for the central bank of Australia. It is not very often one becomes acquainted with or let alone friends with a former central bank employee and policy maker, which Rob was. Unfortunately Rob has conclusively and independently come to the same exact conclusion as myself, that the "storm" is coming and that future rampant inflation is inescapable. Our separate conclusions are to move off the grid because of, among other things, the looming economic worldwide crash. It is interesting to note that Rob was considered "Mr. Armageddon" and "Mr. Doom and Gloom" in his former position in worldwide finance firms before any of these bubbles had burst, once again I think the role of pessimist is quite appropriate in these circumstances.

My view is that the ultra rich and powerful people in our world would very much like to see the eradication of the middle class in order to bring about a modern serfdom, as many famous economists and historians believe, such as John Kenneth Galbraith. Upon asking Rob about how our central banks would prevent hyperinflation by way of contracting the seemingly ever increasing money supply in which America is pioneering, he asked, "well who do you think will be affected, the ultra rich, the middle class, or the poor?", his answer was, the middle class will be the ones who are affected by way of tax increases (which the government will use to pay off its liabilities to treasury bonds) and the calling in of loans (for the middle class) which had also been made to increase the money supply and stimulate our economy whereby the Fed and treasury would hope to curb the future hyperinflation which Jake and myself have been conversing about.

I have been studying the history of central banks and the role of the Fed in all historic bailouts and foreign loans and the way in which they create crises for the benefit of the big banks by way of eliminating "competition" from smaller banks and stoking warfare only to benefit politically and industrially to further profits and to strengthen the titans of the globalized corporate banking industry, it seems the more I study the more obvious it all seems. Take for example the current Congolese crisis in which our government has done nothing and has largely ignored. If you follow the money trail from the Congo guerrilla militant general who is a profound and self proclaimed Tutsi supporter, Laurent Nkunda, it will lead you to the US supported and funded president and Tutsi supporter of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who has received millions (if not billions) in international funding from governments such as the US, UK, and ironically Israel. Israel is ironic because it is supporting genocide on a level very comparable to that which occurred during the holocaust of WW2. Why may you ask have these countries namely America, who should be the leading example, have done nothing? Put quite simply for the rape and pillage of the countries vast natural resources which are widely untapped and contain immense amounts of gold and platinum (which is seen as the ultimate investment in these uncertain economic times), oil (which powers the world), uranium (which "protects" nations from domineering threats), and last but not least minerals which are vital to our daily technological devices such as Blackberrys and Iphones.

It makes me sick that this cycle is repetitive throughout history and I feel that unfortunately Obamas cabinet, especially the U.S. envoy to the UN, Susan Rice has supported these "client" dictators who are responsible for some of the worst genocides since WW2. I pray Obama will part from this stance especially as his father was born in Kenya . Why would the U.S. ever support a genocidal or unjust dictator? I think big business insatiable need for natural resources is the answer, any country or political official whether democratic, communist, or fascist who is seen as a block in the road for the corporatacrocies endeavours must be taken down in the eyes of our United States government, and what has really angered me is that many of these foreign political officials were DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED and have been replaced by puppet dictators (genocidal or not) who have corporate connections. The United States of Americas campaign slogan has been to spread democracy, yet we have in many circumstances done exactly the opposite and our country has a very dark side of history to it, this is a well documented and historically shamed history, yet in the present and the past our mainstream media either chooses to ignore it or puts a happy gloss over it which the worlds, especially Americas, largely ignorant population chooses to accept. I am not a pessimist or a spokesperson for doom and gloom, I believe in learning the facts from multiple unbiased sources (by way of newspapers, books, documentaries and the Internet) and have found that I have an unquenched thirst for knowledge on international relations and would soon like to do my bachelors degree here in London so I can make a difference and kick some of these politicians into shape. I love America and recognize that the only reason this option is even possible to me is because of the freedom our great nation has presented.

Happy Holidays!!

4 October 2008

Lilliana Kaia Sydney Denton, the newest addition to the family!!!!

Maxine and I are delighted to announce that our baby girl was born on Monday September 29th at 6:11pm weighing in at 8lbs 7oz and measuring a whopping 53 centimeters long. She was born in Chelsea Westminster Hospital in London, England!!!!

Maxine and I took a leisulrly stroll to the hospital from our flat at 8:45am on Sunday the 28th of September for the induction of labor as Lilliana was quite comfortable in the womb and had no intentions of coming into this crazy world on her own. The first step in the process was to inject prostaglandin onto the cervix, a drug which stimulates the depletion of the cervix which in turn artificially stimulates the long and hard process of labor. After the first injection one must wait six hours to see if the effects of labor have kicked in, well Maxine needed another injection after no prgress was made and her cervix remained fully intact after the initiall six hour waiting period.

Its 6:30pm and Maxine is having her second injection of prostaglandin. Maxine is monitored by a machine which tracks Lillys heart rate and tracks any contractions which may start. At this point I am getting impatient and just want the process to hurry up and start already, oh how foolish I am, I wish on no person the anguish one experiences in labor, it is by far the worst experience I have ever partaken in. Keep in mind that the end result makes up for it immeasurably. After a few hours and a couple of examinations Maxines cervix is softening and before we know it the contractions begin!!

The midwife informs me that visitors are no longer allowed and since my stubborn wife is still not in labor proper I must leave and will be contacted if anything transpires. I thought "wicked, I get to go home and get a good nights sleep and we can conveniently resume in the morning", yet again how foolish I am! Back at the flat at about 11:30pm I recieve a phone call from Maxine saying she is having serious contractions and is soon going to be injected with the one drug she was supposedly going to refuse, the midwife did a fantastic job of convincing Maxine that Pethandine is the best thing she could possibly take becasue her seriously painfull contractions are going to last for quite some time and she needs to get some quality rest for what lays ahead.

At 12:30am I arrive on the scene minutes after she is injected with Penthadine and am advised that she may seem a bit loopy, and to just hold her hand. Penthadine is an opiate based drug and doesnt kill the pain it takes ones mind off of the pain and allows one to sleep inbetween contractions. Here I am holding my lovely wifes hand as she is snoring, then before I know it a horrid thing called a contraction rolls through and Maxine is in seething pain, squeezing my fingers, yelling, cursing, waving her arms, speaking in an uncomprehensable manner, then the wave of pain peaks and fades, and ahhhh a sigh of relief!!! Maxine then continues to ask for water then promptly falls asleep like only a true narcileptic could do. Penthadine is great!! Shes literally snoring inbetween contractions and getting some MUCH needed rest. The contractions come about every two minutes and dont go away for another eighteen horrendously ecscrutiating hours.

After two hours of bliss, the Penthadine wears off, Maxine is then offered gas and air which is 50% nitrous oxide and 50% pure oxygen, this was immediately a huge hit with Maxine as its just like breathing on a scuba diving regulator and makes one feel very intoxicated and after prolonged use makes you say some very strange things. Maxine was huffing this stuff down from that point onwards, she was obviously enjoying it too much, the problem was that she was drying her mouth and throat out and drinking too much water, she tried to urinate but had no success, so a cathater was put in only three times througought her labor when in fact she needed one in the whole time, this is why labor took so long, her bladder was so full it was literally blocking Lillys head from dropping and coming out.

The most painfull part of the labor for me was from 3am to 3 pm on Monday. During this period of time Maxine insisted that she stood up during contractions, every two minutes, for twelve hours, I had to stand up pull her up off the bed and then proceed to get abused physically and verbally for the duration of the contraction, Maxine would fall alsleep for what seemed to be a minute and I passed out for as long as posssible on a mat on the floor then repeated the process until the late morning hours. At 9am I had had it, I phoned Maxines sister Sarah and told her she needed to get her butt to the hospital as I nseriously needed a break, thanks to God she arrived!!! I was able to sit down, close my eyes for thirty minutes, sip coffee and eat, what an enourmous difference that made!!! Now I was energized and ready to go. The contractions increased in severity, Maxine was advised to take more Penthadine as she was not dilated enough and it was still going to be some time.

Maxine started pushing for the baby to come out around 2pm, made great progress and was an absolute trooper and bravely refused the epideral, even after 17 plus hours of excruciating contractions. I blame this ghastly judgement on the gas and air making her irrational, this abominable judgment can be likened to that of Mccain picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. Throughout the ordeal Maxine continued to crack jokes, some which made sense and others which were much more comical and made one think she was on another planet.
After vast effort the midwife put another cathater in and pints of urine came out, oooops, should have put that it sooner!!!! This was the first indication that her bladder was most definitly affecting Lillys passage, after Maxine was drained much more progress followed and she was almost fully dilated. The doctors came in for an examintaion and found that Lilly had transversed sideways and the standard procedure is to deliver the baby via forceps with an emergency c section being the back up, so Maxine was breifed on the epidural, finally admitted defeat and took the epidural, what bliss!!!!!
The doctors then came in to take Maxine to the operating room for the forcep delivery, I came along and at this point did not know whether to cry, regurgitate, passout, or laugh. I was sitting with Maxine in the operation room and the doctors asked, "when was the last cathater put in?". the midwife said, "oh thats not necessary shes just had one", I thought "bullshit she needs one!!!!", the doctors put a cathater in and I shit you not it took Maxine 10 minutes plus to empty her bladder, at this point I am really pissed off at the midwifes incompetence, but in the time she was drained Lilly turned back into the perfect position and she was promptly pushed out by Maxine and pulled out by two large tongs and placed directly onto Maxines chest, all exaustion, hunger, anxiety, pain, delerium, and insanity had paid off, Lilly had made it out, FINALLY!! and Maxine was still alive. Lilly was blue and whining a bit, she was moved to the weigh station where she started to cry, I immediatly went over and started talking to Lilly in the voice I always used to during the pregnancy, and she instantly recognized my voice and calmed right down and began to take in the world around her, that to me was just unbelievablely amazing!! Lilly was weighed, checked to make sure she was in one peice and wrapped in a towel. I showed her off to Maxine then took her outside to meet her family who was overjoyed to see her. The experience was beyond worth it and although during the process i swore i would never have another child unless it was adopted am very much lookin forward to having another in a few years, this time with an epideral from the start, not so much for Maxine, but selfishly for my own wellbeing!

Thats the story of how Lilliana Kaia Sydney Denton was born into this world.

VOTE FOR OBAMA, OR ELSE......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 September 2008

London Town

Hello Everyone!!

So I have made it safely back to London and have been reunited with my wonderfully pregnant wife!! We have two due dates the first was today, with only a few more hours in the day to go there is a nominal chance it can still happen, most likely the baby should come in a weeks time, probably longer considering both Maxine and I had to be induced because we were obviously much too comfortable and lazy too come out on time. The baby is very active, it seemed to have migrated south and is hopefully engaging itself and getting ready for the passage. For those of you who don't know we are keeping the sex a surprise for ourselves but we both think its a boy. If its a boy the name will be, Ozias Sydney Storm Denton, and if it is a girl, Lilliana Kaia Sydney Denton.

Our dilemma in life at the moment is where to live??? It will either be back in Virginia Beach where I have a secure but sometimes slow job, or do my best here in the U.K. keeping myself busy as a self employed "civils" diver. Last week I got my first taste of work experience in the U.K. working for a company called R.E.D.S., it was a very easy job and after the work I've done back in Norfolk for the Navy, most any diving job I take will be exceedingly effortless. On Wednesday I have a job lined up with Dive Tech doing god knows what.

Today I had an awesome job interview at Pinewood Studios www.pinewoodgroup.com/. Pinewood Studios is the equivalent of Universal Studios or any of those big movie studios in Hollywood except its over here in England and is called pinewood instead of Hollywood. Not sure how I got the job, Maxine found the diving website for the underwater studio and had a gut feeling that it would be a perfect job for me after my usual procrastination I phoned them and sent them my resume, went in for an interview and presto, I've got a job!!! I start next week, its not 9 to 5 Monday through Friday but its as close as you can get here in the U.K. as an inshore commercial diver, to fill in the gaps I will be a freelance diver doing jobs all over the country on an as needed basis. I'm really looking forward to starting work at Pinewood, my boss is super laid back, the jobs are typically bad ass, usually they are filming two to three days a week, and as my future boss said its a very "rock n roll" job. We do everything from building the set underwater to teaching the actors how to dive/swim/free dive/snorkel etc, and we get to test out all the special effects... The other side of the job is acting as a standby diver in case the actor get themselves into a hairy situation. A good example: Madonna's doing a music video and has to walk across a bridge, so there needs to be a standby diver ready to jump in and save her life should she decide to jump off and go for a swim. Sometimes we get to take pictures and shoot video but that's only on rare occasions and they are surely not going to let me the new guy do it, its like any other industry you have to work your way up the ladder. It was a very impressive and surreal experience getting the grand tour of the studios, I got to look at real live movie sets, it was very cool.

We will see how it goes, from what I've experienced so far I'm guessing we will most likely settle down here in England for the next year. We will be making are minds up one way or another in the next few weeks. Regardless, once Spring rolls around I am going to try my damnedest to get a job offshore where apparently they are crying out for divers. I'm confident I will get a job as my qualifications make me highly employable. The reason I'm waiting for Spring is because there is no diving operations in the winter in the North Sea as the infamous north Atlantic storms constantly barrage the oil rigs and the 100 foot waves make the conditions less then ideal. The other reason of course is my newborn baby whom I don't want to be away from in the first few months or at all, but all things considered me working offshore is definitely the best option for my soon to be family as a whole.

My next post will be put up after my baby is born I will be sure to include loads of pictures! Hope all is well with everyone!!!


Fontaine Denton