The Real Diving Begins

Great Barrier Reef Travel Blog

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We traveled throughout the night to the next dive area. On the top deck we suffer less noise from the engines but more of the roll, so we woke up several times in the night, at first with nightmares and intense dreams of speeding in fast cars through dangerous crossings and on boats in a storm with stomach-losing swell but later just with other crazy dreams.


We finally got up around 6am for the first of many meals, cold breakfast of fruit and cereal before the dive started just after sunrise. Sadly I wasn't permitted to dive this time (at the Cod Hole) owing to a strong current so I waited for Andy to return for hot breakfast (bacon, eggs, spaghetti, ratatuille, toast with promite and vegemite - no marmite! Promite tastes like Bovril so it will have to do.



Similarly dive 2 was around pinnacles (Two Towers) so Kylie recommended that we would be unlikely to see much since the real exciting stuff would be on the vertical plane not the surface horizontal so we sat it out again. I didn't feel so pleased when Andy returned enthusing about the surface turtle and reef sharks they had seen and how it was his favourite site so far! Still, I would probably have cakked my wetsuit had I seen a shark anyway...


Thankfully Andy hired an underwater camera for the day so he could take lots of photos of the exciting things we can see! His first dive he didn't know to have the 'red filter' on to stop the blueness of the photos so you can't always see the fishs' colours but his photos are excellent anyway.


The 3rd dive was the 'Cod Feed' and although the initial swim against the current to the site was pretty exhausting, we joined the divers from above as they sat on the sea floor feeding pilchard to some red seabass and 2 giant maori wrasse which are half human sized! Here I saw a wonderful shoal of Oriental Sweet Lips, Gar fish, Sea Cucumbers, Hump-Headed Bat Fish, Angel Fish, Smooth Flutemouth, Spotted Rockcod, Potato Cod, Footballer Cod, Red Bass, Bluefin (or possibly blac) Trevally, Butterfly fish (several kinds), Blunthead Wrasse, some pearly fish I don't know, Lion Fish and lots of others, more than we could identify.


The 4th dive was in the ley of a long reef (Challenger Bay) so there was very little current and lots to see! Kylie took the other 2 snorkellers out who had so far sat out owing to being weaker swimmers and troubles with wetsuits and snorkels.

I had been snorkelling with the help of Kylie and a life buoy which we had both been holding to keep together but this time I could explore on my own and I had an amazing time zooming around like a little mermaid!


The only downside to not being with Kylie was not being able to identify all I saw but I will try with a guide book to list them all. I saw so many types of black and yellow fish! It was impossible committing to memory each of their differences in terms of shape and fin spots etc. I swam for about an hour, happy to be 'off the leash' and explored all up and down the reef, often shadowing Andy and Clay in the hope of seeing some of the cool stuff they saw. Eventually I headed back to the boat and ran out of energy about 10m away but managed to get myself on board!


The rest of the afternoon I sat in the sun reading and covering myself in sun cream, though I still managed to get a little burnt.

Dinner was rack of lamb and was followed by the 5th dive, a night dive also at Challenger Bay. I couldn't go on this and Andy was meant to (the same reef as we'd been on but at night) but after doing 4 dives in a day and wanting wine with dinner (you can't dive for 8 hours after alcohol) he decided to miss it. Dessert was meant to be served after the dive but we came back to the room and fell asleep fully clothed on the bed!

raving_pixie says:
Amazing photos!
Posted on: Sep 20, 2007
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Great Barrier Reef
photo by: Makkattack