I had the opportunity some time back to participate in a week-long underwater photography program taught by world-famous U/W photographer, Stephen Frink, in Key Largo, Florida. After one has entered the water and established "neutral density", they give the "okay" symbol to their dive buddy, letting them know it is safe to proceed with the dive, which is what I am doing in this photo.
The long, blue-striped tube-looking object on the left center of the photo above is a type of fish commonly seen in the waters around Key Largo. The other objects include sea fan, plus several varieties of colorful corals. All these are reminders of the importance of protecting the coral reefs located throughout the world. Completion of this program, meant I had taken enough PADI-approved scuba diving specialty courses to qualify me as a "Master Scuba Diver". I think I was more proud of that scuba achievement than I was of getting the "Master of Science" college degree! Achieving Master Scuba Diver certification certainly covered a longer span of years than the Master of Science degree. And guess which one I have framed, and hanging in a room in my house? You're right---the scuba one. It hangs right next to a little plaque I received in high school declaring that I had won "Honorable Mention" in the Skin Diver Magazine Summer Scholarship for Marine Science Junior Fin Fans. You see, I was a "fin fan" of Lloyd Bridges who had a popular television program back in the last century called "Sea Hunt". It was that show, plus a childhood spent on area lakes/rivers at every opportunity, that influenced me to start out my freshman year in college majoring in marine biology. There have been many, many "miles of smiles" between then and now, and life continues to be an adventure! Blessings! Tricia