844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Me vs. Titan Triggerfish (Gili Trawangan, Indonesia)

I was attacked by a f^%;*ing Titan Triggerfish today. It hurted. The SOB got my wrist and took a chunk out of my finger. Little bastard. Another diver was pointing out a bumphead parrotfish and as I swam over to take a look I was ambushed by the trigger. Apparently, when they are nesting they are extremely territorial. Needless to say I will not make that mistake again.

When it first struck I thought one of the other divers was screwing with me. I turned to see said triggerfish swirling around me in a mad frenzy, at which point it went for my middle finger. I then began to thrash around like a lunatic until it backed off. Good times.

That was my afternoon. My morning was punctuated with the scariest moment I’ve had diving. We went to a place by the name of Shark Point (didn't see any) with a fairly robust current. This was a blast at first as I found myself somersaulting gayly in the underwater current. But not long after the thrill ride I unknowingly began to drift away from the gang. The visibility was bad and they were almost out of sight when I made an attempt to rejoin the ranks. Exerting yourself in a current 100 feet underwater and losing your breath provides an excellent path to freakoutville. I did see two of the guys looking around with the 'Where the hell is he?' expression. It was at this point that my ‘Oh shit’ meter began to flash. I thought that I was going for a ride by myself. Not really that big of deal because I knew that eventually they would find me. However, this did not prevent me from coming dangerously close to loosing my shit. If you panic underwater away from another diver you are pretty much ‘F’ for fucked. I narrowly avoided panic and one of the guys leading the dive corralled me in and brought me back to the group. Phewwww!

Although I was close to leaving a large volume of feces in my wetsuit I am glad it happened. It was a great learning experience and I am certainly a better diver for it but I will be okay if I avoid another situation like that one. Seriously.

The dives were excellent. We spotted batfish, blue spotted ribbontail stingrays, octopus, cuttlefish, white-tipped reef shark, bumphead parrotfish, triggerfish (bastard!!), so forth and so on.

Bumphead Parrotfish (photo found on internet)
Juvenile Batfish (photo found on internet)
Cuttlefish (photo found on internet)
Octopus (photo found on internet)
Titan Triggerfish
White-tipped Reef Shark (photo found on internet)

Blue-Spotted Ribbontail Stingray (photo found on internet)
I am trying to leave here. I really am. It’s not that easy. Not easy. Really not easy. I got a great shot of Mt. Rinjani from across the channel. It wants me to climb it. I will obey……soon. I think.

Mt. Rinjani from Gili Trawangan

This island is teeming with drugs (marijuana and mushrooms to be exact). I cannot walk twenty feet without being offered some. The local 'pushers' are extremely entertaining. Not only do they offer drugs they can do so in a a variety of languages. Tonight one of the dudes called out, “Hey man, 420”. It warms the cockles of my heart to see the locals tuned into the American slang for marijuana.

3/22/09

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim