I've realized that for some reason, no matter how much I thought I wanted or needed to, I seem to be incapable of taking a relaxing vacation. I've finished the diver rescue and progressed on to the divemaster course now, which is the first professional-level certification and the course is quite tough. I passed all the written tests with flying colors ("so now you *think* you know how to dive," the instructor-seargeant remarked), passed my timed swimming test on the second attempt (400m in 11 minutes - not exactly an Olympic record but I was pleased) but made a few mistakes on the practical tests - dropped a weight belt and lost sight of the instructor underwater (caused, I am almost certain, by him rapidly swimming away from me for no reason). In my defense, I was drugged out on the weirdly potent seasickness pills that are almost required on the monsoon-season ocean waves at this time of year.
A few pictures from my one photography dive follow, but they are not that great. I was floating, the fish were floating, there is nothing to hold onto, the fish panicked as they thought the camera lens was a giant predator's eye, and I was trying to look at the viewfinder through several thick layers of plastic. With these excuses as an introduction, I must admit that the first picture, of a moray eel, was taken by my Dutch instructor:
A wall of barracudas:
A puffer fish:
A nudibranch (if you see a nudibranch underwater, the scuba sign-language indictor is to mimic a flasher opening his coat)
A strange, frog-like, amphibious creature:
Hey guys, wait for me!