BootsnAll Travel Network

Finding Nemo

After 3 days sailing on the Atlantic Clipper on the Great Barrier Reef, I’m hooked on scuba diving. The past few days have been all about seeing incredible animals in the water and concqering fears.

On the way out to the reef, we saw 7 hump back whales! There was a baby whale that was jumping in the air and riding on its mom’s back. These were the first whales I have ever seen outside of Sea World. Despite Shamu’s stunt ability, there is nothing like the real thing.

I am now a certified advanced open water diver. This means I had to go down to 30 meters ( about 90 feet), do a night dive, and do a lot of underwater navigation. I woke up at 4:30 on the day of the 30 meter di ve because I was so nervous (it starts at 6:30). As my instructor said, “If you run out of air down there, you are fucked.” Nice encouragement. The night before had been the night dive. It was a full moon. so a lot of the animals were illuminated, but at some points you can only see your buddy ‘ s life. I was so scared that I sucked my air tank dry and had to use a backup. But at night we saw a lot of bluespotted devil rays and GTs, which are these huge silver fish that swim over your shoulder, waiting for you to point out little fish for them to eat. So I approached the 30 meter dive with a bit a apprehension, but after a couple of meters, I was fine. We had to do a puzzle on deck and at 30 meters to see the difference in our cognitive abi lity . I did it in 9 seconds on deck and 14 on the bottom! You get a lot of nitrogen when you dive deep so it makes you a bit drunk feeling. But I had the fastest puzzle times, but the biggest jump in my times.

During my 11 dives I saw a white tipped reef shar, Nemo, a lion fish (which looks like a big red and white koosh ball), and a zillion other brightly colored fish and coral. My favorite were the royal angels, which were striped blue, yellow, orange, and white. I also liked trumpet fish because their mouths really do look like trumpets.

The boat was a blast. I survived on ginger tablets , which prevent sea sickness, and was completely fine the entire time. There was a great g roup of Irish and English people in my group, so we did a lot of diving off the boat, card games, and 80s movies watching. All and all, my Great Barrier Reef experience was great !

Tomorrow it’s off to Cape Tribulation, an area in the rainforest about an hour from Cairns. Then only a few more days before heading home.


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