I am back underwater. In salt water. Where I should be. This is my special little quiet place – the ocean. I can soar above the reef, or hang upside down peeking under overhangs, or meditate to the only sound around – my breathing.

Yes, this would be time well spent relaxing. Trouble is, my nirvana is constantly interrupted by fantastically colorful creatures of all shapes and sizes. Even though my underwater strobe has been recently flooded and now I am left with just my tiny point-and-shoot camera in an underwater housing, I can’t fight the urge, and at least try, to capture the beauty.

It is hard to believe I am not hallucinating on some psychedelic drug when a blue and white thumbprint floats by, followed by a purple jewelry box with orange polka-dots and a propeller. When something called clown fish inquisitively looks at me from a bush of wobbly fingers, or when sharks the size of whales pass overhead like winged blimps, it’s hard to convince yourself you haven’t lost your mind.

Nitrogen accumulation and the need for air limit my diving to a little less than an hour. Perhaps it’s a good thing. Otherwise I would probably have enough time down there to decide never to come back up.