Thoughts from staring at a fish

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When you’re floating in the coral sea, with a snorkel in your mouth, staring at thousands of fish below you, you kind of zen out. You have time to think. I thought today. And it was good.

Got up insanely early again, and was met outside the Arlie Beach Hotel by my ride to take me to Ocean Rafting, for my “Northern Exposure tour,” which translates into “Fast boat jumping waves for snorkeling in two locations, then hiking, then lunch, then lying on the most pristine patch of sand I’ve ever seen in my life.”

While waiting to board, I met two women from Germany, taking six months to tour all around Australia, New Zealand, and Bali. How? They rented a car, and are sleeping in it. They meet tons of people who let them stay in their apartments, homes, hotels, and the like. I envy the living hell out of them.

It's over 50 degrees, so naturally, I'm soaked with sweat.

It’s over 50 degrees, so naturally, I’m soaked with sweat.

Boarding the boat, we took off through the waves for snorkeling. This time, I didn’t even wait to get out of range – I shut my Blackberry off when I got on the boat, put it in a waterproof bag with my passport and camera, and just focused on being in the moment. It was… Lovely.

Stopping at a sand bar for a moment,

Sadly, the Sand Bar didn't serve drinks.

Sadly, the Sand Bar didn’t serve drinks.

we made our way to some serious snorkeling. At one point, I was face down near the boat, when all of a sudden, THOUSANDS (not exaggerating) of fish SWARMED me. Scared the hell out of me! I had no idea why, until I looked up, and saw the boat captain throwing fish food at me.

Ha, ha. Ass.

I swam away and just sort of floated… Then it kinda hit me – I was free. Not like, free from the fish, but free. Free from my Blackberry, free from attorneys, free from it all. And yes, this is a working vacation – which is fine – but the key, I realized, was to enjoy those few moments of “free…” however fleeting they may be. Because if you don’t, they’ll go away – and you’ll be left with nothing. And that’s not good.

Moving back onto dry land, we got to hike up a small mountain, and grab a few photos from the summit.


Finally, back down to the boat for lunch, then an hour to just sort of play on the sand, walk on the sand bar – by this time, the tide was out. We all pretty much laid on the sand, took off our sting-suits, and just… were.

Got back on the boat after, headed back to shore, (by the way, this was one fast-ass boat. See photo below)

The "Hang on, this is gonna be fun!" Boat from Ocean Rafting

The “Hang on, this is gonna be fun!” Boat from Ocean Rafting

And one of half the boat gang on said boat…

About five seconds before the captain dropped the boat into high gear.

About five seconds before the captain dropped the boat into high gear.

and I managed to shower, change, and catch my ride to the airport – all within seven minutes.

Arrived at the airport, and a quick JetStar flight to Brisbane had me safely in the Sofitel Brisbane, where I was thrilled to discover a bottle of Champagne waiting for me from the PR person for the hotel. SCORE!

And that was Friday. One more day, then I’m on my way home to LA to connect to New Orleans, where oddly enough, I’ll be live-tweeting from Harry Conick Jr’s Mardi Gras float, for a project called My Mardi Gras Experience. That’s gonna be fun! Then right back to the airport to head over to Bangalore India, to speak at a conference.

The fun never stops!

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