Off to the Reef

Tomorrow, bright and early (5:45am) I head off from the coast of Cairns to live 3 days on a boat and scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef. I've spent the last two days in the classroom and in the pool training. It all reminded me a little too much of school, especially since I'm on vacation, but now comes the payoff.
Getting certified in scuba is not that tough, though I barely survived the swim test because they held it right after I had a huge sandwich for lunch. I cramped up during a 200 meter swim and barely stayed afloat for the 10 minute water tread test. I'm about as buoyant as a lead sinker.
It's been difficult to fully enjoy Australia thus far. I miss the weather and friends of New Zealand. The air in Cairns is heavy, languid, and damp. The fan in my hotel room is always on high just to keep the air circulating and active. Can one be homesick for a country that isn't home?
I thought I'd miss American television and movies and sports and news much more than I have.My mind is in a travel cocoon, and I feel just as busy as I do when I'm home and working. Every morning I have to be up early for something, and every night I'm out late. It sounds rough, but I enjoy it. Lying around on a beach or sleeping in until ungodly hours is not my idea of a vacation.
My next update should come from the lovely city of Sydney, where I will arrive Saturday (Friday for those of you back in the States). And by next Tuesday night I'll be back home in my bed in Seattle. But my heart will be thousands of miles away.