Sunday, December 4, 2011

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

In 2006 I got my PADI dive certification. I have SCUBA'd exactly zero times since then. Frankly, snorkeling is as enjoyable and a lot less hassle and math. Coming to the far northeast coast of Australia, however, made me rethink my SCUBA indifference. It is the Great Barrier Reef. So I opted for a day trip with Quicksilver Cruises and signed up for the 3-dive option. I'm glad I did. The water was warm, the visibility was awesome, the wildlife was abundant, the corals vibrant (can't tell in the pics, of course) and it was one of those moments in life when you keep thinking, "I can't believe I'm doing this!"
On the 3d of December, I boarded a 45 meter Catamaran along with about 25 other people and we pushed out about 8:30. Got to the first dive site about an hour and a half later. Had a 45 minute dive around a large pillar type coral- saw a rather large shark as well. It was hanging on the bottom and I was alright with it till I saw it start to move, then I got a little weirded out. But it just clung to the bottom.
These little blue thingies, like super fancy pipe cleaners were fun because if you waggled your hand in front of them they'd pop inside themselves. Some corals that were at least 10 meters high were positively covered in these things.
That's me! 
Second dive had a somewhat domesticated fish that the crew has named George. George is slow moving, big eyed, as big as an adult human and very loving. It leans into you to get you to pet it. It's like a dog.
Me petting George. 
George moving on in the hopes of finding somebody with a snack.
The third dive had stingrays, lots of them. No pictures of those. Most of them hung to the bottom but one started to swim around and appeared to be circling me and all that was going through my head was: STEVE IRWIN!
Another bold fish. This one was not friendly like George but obviously quite curious about the camera. It was probably 4 feet long and quite hefty looking from other angles.
I didn't feel as intense as I look.


EcoGrrl said...

That is freaking awesome! Im terrified of scuba but dang that's cool and George? Looks totally fake haha :) I can sense an amazing energy rising in you in this post, like a tipping point...hell yeah!!!

Sarah said...

The idea of scuba always kinda scares me but once you're down there, it's like an alternate reality. And things get real quiet in your head. There's nothing to do but just be and look and float. Yes, the energy is doing well. Lots to catch up on....will be better once I get back to the land of unlimited internet.....also, you should plan on me coming up there in the spring to help you with some big garden projects.... =)

Corinne said...

Don't show the dog pictures of George, there may be accusations of cuddly creature infidelity! That's a bloody awesome opportunity.

jaymo said...

My poor wife got her PADI cert on a liveaboard on the Great Barrier Reef...three days of no visibility and gale-force winds. I'm so happy your experience there turned out better, we're hoping to go back and have better luck with the weather this time. And yeah, it's another world down there, a quiet and relaxing one.