Diving the Great Barrier Reef
Although it rains heavily again last night,
the sun wakes us early – a good thing as we have booked dives for today, and we need to be on the pier by 8:00. We are diving from a different boat today than our other dives: while we appreciated everything that CDC and the Sunkist did for us, we want to expand our knowledge of the Reef and the company we are going with today with go to the northern outer reef. The sky stays clear for the 2 hour ride out; most of the people on the boat today are Japanese, and half the crew is also Japanese. We chat with a few people, and discover that we get along famously with two, Lynne and Brian, two friends from Sydney who have both bought condos in Cairns that they rent out, and who are up to inspect their properties. Lynne is diving, and will go out with Greg and me, while Brian will snorkel with some of the others.
Ready to Go
Our first dive goes swimmingly, and we are both relieved that we don’t have to demonstrate our skills to anyone this time, and can focus on the dive itself. We see beautiful sights, the reef and the fish are so interesting and colourful – back up top, both Lynne and I comment on the same piece of coral – intense baby blue! We spend a few minutes as a group visiting with a big turtle, everyone just watching the turtle, and the turtle watching us, until he or she loses interest and swims away. Neither Greg nor I have yet mastered the art of not swimming, and we both run low on air about 30 minutes into our dive, surface and go back to the boat.
Up top, one of Greg’s ears won’t equalize. In discussion with the crew, he decides not to do the afternoon dive, which will take place in a different part of Norman Reef. He and Brian go snorkeling, and Lynne and I and a German guy who lives in Nanjing, China, are buddies for the 2nd round of diving. We see some pink clownfish – Nemo’s cousins (Nemo is a false clownfish), and although I wish Greg were diving with me, I have a wonderful dive. Greg: The snorkel was just as wonderful, full of life and a warm, relaxing float for 40 minutes over the reef.
Post Diving DeBrief
Lynne, Brian, Greg and I drive to the CBD (downtown, except to Aussies) and find a touristy (is there anything else in Cairns?) restaurant on the Esplanade. We laugh through dinner, and agree that when we’re all back in Sydney we shall have to hang out together. Lynne talks about our diving with her gang near Sydney, and tells us that Sydney has the best shark diving in the world, and that we should really do it. Despite my fear, I am intrigued, and later that night dream of swimming with sharks, and realize in the morning that it was not a nightmare.