Wetpixel Ultimate Indonesia 2011 Step One: Get your leave agreed


I think it is one of the most beautiful words we have and I try to use it as much as humanly possible.

Sometimes you just have to say yes –  when the very idea makes you do that silent, on the spot wiggle of pleasure.

Sometimes you get to shout yes – with a victory punch to the air.

Sometimes, yes is tentative, questioning – like when you are afraid of heights but you know this will be something to remember.

And sometimes, yes can be a strong, confident statement of fact. You just know.  And it’s not a problem to say.

Sigh … because sometimes, someone else has the power of yes and when granted, it releases a great, deep, freedom sigh of relief.

And I was tired. Like everyone else, I’ve been working like a looney and I’m buggered. Late home from work on a Friday, I was stunned to find the Wetpixel Ultimate Indonesia 2011 trip. It started a couple of days after my already, reluctantly approved, 10 day trip to Borneo finished.

Genius. All it would take is yes. Yes from Dan the booking agent and a yes from my boss.

I was pretty shocked to get a yes from Dan within roughly 24 hours.

Really big sigh. So anxious, I’d sent a follow up email offering a brief description of myself, trying to impress – what a good diver I was, how easy going, how enthusiastic I was about underwater photography. A bit pathetic really and completely transparent. Whoever believes those “about me” descriptions.

As it was, I logged my 200th dive on that trip, not long after Phil celebrated his gazillionth. How embarrassing. Hope they hadn’t seen my email to Dan.

Phil 1,000. Eric stopped counting at 2,500 quite some time ago. Still, I was pretty chuffed.

Turned out getting the extra leave approved was the worst. Carrying on like this for 6 weeks seemed to strengthen my case –

Even so, my boss didn’t officially approve my leave until a couple of weeks before departure. I have paid, purchased and almost packed by the time the system recognised that I was really going on leave, for 7 weeks.

Yes. tentative, guilty, wiggle on the spot. confident. yay …

What is it about getting out of the office on the last day before a holiday break? My best laid plans came to nothing. Staying back for a week, 15 hour days, all to make for a clean getaway. No matter what I do, come 3pm on the last day and I’m faced with the awful reality that a 10pm finish is about the best I’m likely to achieve.  Have I packed?!?

Trying to make the point. “this is my last day before holidays”

Now I’m really tired,

What is it about holidays – especially dive holidays – they require so much organisation. The travel parts are tough enough – which trip to pick, international bank transfer payments should be simple but they involve banks. Coordinating international flights to connect with domestic flights in tiny countries, on small planes with no baggage allowance?

Phewwee, I’m frazzled and anxious by the time it comes to leave …

But yes … YES, with a victory punch to the sky,

A tentative nervous yes … I won’t know anyone

A deep, sigh of relief, yes


Yes … just plain Yes.