Second Day of Diving

Great Barrier Reef Travel Blog

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As usual 6am start, a quick breakfast and out on the dive. The first dive was a pinnacle (Pixie Pinnacle) and again because it's a vertical thing probably not so appropriate for snorkelling but I just didn't care. With permission from Kylie I jumped back in the water – I’ve got the snorkelling bug!

 

I borrowed Loren's underwater camera since he wasn't using it but because I couldn't get down close enough to anything the photos were pretty rubbish apart from the two or three things that ventured close enough to me. It was still fun floating over the pinnacle though. When you slow down you can see loads of things, and most exiciting of all I saw a turtle (though was spluttering into my snorkel at the time so failed to get a piccy) and some clown fish flitting around their anenome home! I think I also saw Sixspot Rockcod, Gold and Blue Fusiliers (or Red-Bellied Fusiliers, I'm not sure), Teira Batfish and again, many types of Butterfly Fish.

 

I missed the second dive too (Lighthouse Bommie) because it was very deep so I wouldn't be able to see anything, but dive 3 was along a long shallow ribbon reef called Dynamite Pass so lots to explore! This is one of the only safe places to pass through the reef so it was seeded with dynamite to discourage pirates back in the day!

 

Arriving at the reef at first you don't notice the fish but when you get closer the wall of coral suddenly become arrayed with colour and teaming with small swimming life. I wanted to explore far left to right with the current like the divers, but the captain recommended heading straight out to the right into a little sandy reef bay. This was pretty cool as we were completely surrounded by 3 walls of beautiful colours and fish and protected from the current so we could look around at our leisure.

 

I only wish I could name all I have seen these few days, but when some look so similar but for a differentiating spot on the tailfin or latticing on the body instead of stripes, it is hard to remember what they look like exactly, not to mention the possibility of seeing a juvenile which may look quite different. Later in the evening, looking at the reference books I identified a few more I hadn't identified from the whole 3 days and additionally I think I saw BlackTail Humbug, White-tailed Razorfish, Racoon Butterfly fish, Lattice Butterfly Fish, Pacific Basslet, Giant Grouper, Big-Eye Trevally, Yellow Damselfish and many Fusiliers.

 

By dive 4 we were aching and knackered and decided to call it a day despite the promises of lots of sea snakes to see at Snake Pass.

The bit that hurts most is the top of your foot to the shin where you push against the water - not a muscle that gets a lot of use usually!

 

That evening we anchored in a bay near Lizard Island, the first time we have moored near land since we left harbour. We enjoyed a barbecue out on the sundeck and finally indulged in some beer and wine after abstaining for dive reasons for 3 days! It was great chatting to everyone and saying thank you to the crew.

 

I quizzed magnificent 22 year old chef Tyson, as to how he managed to feed 30 odd people 4 or 5 times a day in such a tiny kitchen.

Apparently he rises at 4am and schedules his preparation and cooking around the dive schedule which is subject to change right up till that moment because of weather. He prepares what he can when he can and grabs half hour kip while we're out diving, but if we're in a current and the boat is rolling, it's pretty difficult to bake or roast dinner! His cooking is even more impressive given the difficult circumstances.

 

Also I quizzed Ali, who I had not had the opportunity to cross paths with, but had been intriguing me because of some large round scars on her legs looking rather like shark bites to me! I finally plucked up the (dutch) courage to ask her and she explained that 10 years ago she'd been thrown off a cliff in a motorcyle accident and broken her back, pelvis, legs, neck, arms, fingers and ribs - all in all about 30 bones and the scars were the grafts. Amazing she walked away from it (albeit 18 months later...!)

 

We sat on deck enjoying some great steak, chicken and barracuda (emu, koala and alligator for the gullible ones), drinking wine and watching the fish show off the back of the boat as they swam around in our light. We even saw a couple of giant sharks swim beneath the boat!

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Great Barrier Reef
photo by: Makkattack