I still have nightmares about failing exams. These nightmares are never staged in the examination room itself but some days or weeks before and are characterized by a realization that I have not done sufficient work and I am going to fail, resulting in unbearable humiliation and exposure. There is nothing I can do. It is too late. Charlie Drake expressed a similar dread of the inevitable in his classic, “Please Mr Custer.”
So imagine my joy when I sail through my open water diver tests. The first exam I have passed in over 30 years! Hooray I am now a qualified diver. Thanks here to my very capable instructor, Jan. You want to learn to dive in calm, personalized, non-gung-ho-way? Then come to Okinawa and sign up with Jan.
We do two great dives off Maeda Point, the second one taking over an hour. The surface of the sea is the perfect disguise. You stare at it yet have no idea what is the true nature of the sea. Underneath there is a world completely other. In my dotage I have no desire to do anything extreme or challenging. I just want to hang out down there and observe. The water was very transparent and we ambled along the reef just looking at stuff, freaky fish, crazy coral, sinuous sea snakes, and current favorite – the nudibranch.
I had never heard of these things before but they are my current proposal for Nature’s best bits of jewelry work.
See what I mean?
Anyway I reward my success with a big tropical fish.