We went to the wedding of good friends here on Kyle's actual birthday, so we saved our celebration for this past weekend: a quick dive trip to the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea, northwest of Phuket, Thailand. And we got to break in our Christmas presents from our families: new dive boots and fins. Yay!

Once again our incredibly generous friends Amanda and Reuben loaned us their underwater camera. I think my photos are getting a little bit better with practice. 

These were great dives.There were just so many fish, all sizes and colors and it was beautiful.

This turtle was having a hard coral snack and was completely unfazed by our presence. He just chomped away while we hovered. Awesome.

There were a few boulder dive sites this trip and I loved the boulder dives. We could swim through tunnels and holes and up over these massive rocks covered with coral. (Check out Kyle's fancy new fins. Merry Christmas to him!)

This moray eel stayed tucked in his hole but he watched us for a while. 

These are Andaman Sweetlips and they are awesome. Pinstripes and polkadots!

This blue spotted ray was also very chill, resting at the base of the rock in the sand.

This is a picture of a thermocline. See the distortion? It's not blurry like bad photography, it's wavy. A thermocline is a layer of cold (cold!) water in the ocean. You swim right through it and suddenly everything looks and feels different.

Between dives we got to spend some time on one of the Similan islands, climbing on rocks, playing in the crystal clear water and baby-powder-fine sand, and generally enjoying paradise. We are fans of liveaboards that include chill time on practically deserted islands.

We spent our surface interval (i.e. the time we have to stay on land before it's safe to fly after diving) in Phuket before coming home last night. There were tropical drinks and massages and yummy Thai seafood.

Portrait of a happy birthday boy.

(I'll get all the pics up soon/eventually. But for now... these are your teaser.)