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Did I mention I’m a PADI Advanced Open Water diver?

Here’s the thing about living in Roatan…you need to dive. Not like dive off of a dock and swim around. No. You can’t live on an island surrounded by part of the second largest barrier reef system on Earth without scuba diving.

Some of the dive sites along West End, West Bay, and Sandy Bay. The reef is so close I could throw something at it from my dock at Ocean Connections.

I first tried scuba diving when I visited St. Thomas in 2006 with my oldest best friend/other sister, Sarah. We did a Discover Scuba Dive to learn some basic skills and then got in there for a dive. It was amazing! But it’s an expensive hobby and I didn’t exactly live in a dive-friendly area (sorry, anywhere north of Florida, but your water needs to warm up a crapton before I’ll enjoy going in there). So when I decided I was staying in Roatan back in November, I decided shortly thereafter that I had to get certified to dive. When in Rome, right??

I did my Open Water certification in December/January. I took my time going through the course and my favorite instructor/roommate/manfriend taught me (despite so many warnings that if we actually liked each other we should never enter into an instructor/student relationship or else prepare ourselves for an absolutely epic disaster).

Alas, we did not kill each other, which I’m especially grateful for considering he had full access to shut off my air at any point during the course. Just sayin. Don’t piss off your waitress and don’t annoy the person keeping you alive. Bad things happen.

SO anywho, I became a PADI Open Water diver. YAY! And then I decided to keep going and become a PADI Advanced Open Water diver. Sounds super cool, right? That’s because it is. I don’t know if you realize this, but there’s a whooooole other world underwater. Seriously. Other world. It’s amazing. Check out these photos from the Roatan Marine Park‘s website.

I mean, come on. How beautiful are these photos?! Someday, when I find lots of cash lying around, I’ll buy a nice underwater camera so you can see some of my own photos. For now, these will have to suffice. Feel free to donate to the “Amanda wants to take fabulous photos fund” at any time. (If a sarcasm font existed, please understand it would have been used for that last sentence.)

And just because she’s awesome, this is from my other friend Sarah over at Bella Gypsy Sol: