Bam.

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Well, I did.  My photo was taken, my information sent, and I am now a certified Open Water Diver.  Bam.  I had a scratchy throat on Tuesday and by yesterday morning, it had morphed into a full on cold.  That means that it was nearly impossible for me to equalize my ears and my brain felt like it was going to explode on my dives.  But- I did it.  I was able to finish my skills and still have two pleasant dives where we saw barracudas and squid, and more beautiful fish that I can count.  We also cruised under the glass bottom boat and waved at the passengers.

Tomorrow we are diving a wreck and Mary's Place, one of the top dive sites in the world. 

Rough Water

Transient

Diving has been a treat.  I feel like the door has been opened to a new world full of possibilities.  However, while diving has been great, the weather has not.  The ocean has been naughty as of late and dives have been cancelled and rescheduled, making it a little tricky to finish my course.  Watching a storm descend upon the ocean is a  spectacle.  Seeing the power of waves and water reminds me of just how small I am.   I find it equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.   

Does anyone else have moments in nature that make them feel this way, or is it just me? 

Roatan: Day 1

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My first morning was spent in the classroom, watching safety videos.  Exciting stuff, let me tell you.  But- things picked up in the afternoon when we got to practice basic skills in the shallows like flooding the mask, and breathing off of an alternative air source.  The first time you take a breath underwater, it feels like you are getting away with something.  And then your mind goes to a place of- this can't be happening, but it is happening, and I'm breathing and there's a fish, and I'm still alive.  It was completely exhilarating.   

In the afternoon we went for a 40ft. dive and concentrated on playing and having fun.  We hit a patch of sand and took off our fins and tried running and doing flips.  The entire time I marveled about breathing underwater and felt like a superhero.  The fish were beautiful, the coral was beautiful, all was beautiful.

It's a thing

You know when you meet someone and you immediately think to yourself, "we are not  going to be best friends,"?  That is basically how I feel about parrots of all varieties, but especially Macaws.  They are really beautiful, but also really scary.  I am not exaggerating when I say that one screamed at me, and specifically me (I have witnesses) for several moments on Saturday.  A guy on our shuttle back to Guatemala got bit by one that was walking on him that very morning, and through his shirt no less. I saw the hole.  Also, for more evidence, if you google "Macaw attack," ten pages and counting come up with results that are fascinatingly terrifying.  Without even clicking through to the actual article, you can come up with gems on the main pages such as, "...my Macaw attacked me causing severe nerve damage...," and "sometimes (with Macaws) you can witness this kind of aggressive chasing...".  Yeah, no thanks, I will skip the nerve damage after being aggressively chased.

Imagine my delight finding a Macaw aviary at Copan Ruinas.  Does this encounter make me more comfortable with Macaws?  No.  I had never been up close before and they are WAY bigger than I had ever imagined in my worst nightmare.  But, they do make for lovely models.

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Don't even pretend like you don't see his sinister glare.