Sharks, Turtles, and Sea Sickness

Great Barrier Reef Travel Blog

 › entry 31 of 53 › view all entries
The Boat!

The live aboard was AMAZING!!!!  I decided to go with TAKA Dive (www.takadive.com.au) for the live aboard.  There are six companies that you can do a live aboard with to the Corel Sea and Osprey Reef, I’ve chosen the cheapest, I mean they all take you to the same place, and this one looked great from the research I’ve done.  The dive shop is fantastic in my opinion.  They are organized, professional, have a great space for storing my bags (I’m taking as little as possible on the boat).  I fill out all the necessary paper work and start meeting my fellow tour members.  Within an hour we’re on route to the boat.  Its AMAZING!  It’s a 100 ft boat with four levels; two are mainly for accommodations, the one is for our gear and meeting area and lastly there is a sun deck on the top.

Getting ready to go
 

The crew is excellent.  There are a handful of dive instructors, a volunteer that helps on boat for free in exchange for doing some diving, a lady in charge of everyone, and of course the captain, a cook and an engineer to do to maintenance.  The dive equipment is new, and the boat is in fantastic shape.  Any reservations I had about spending the money to take this live aboard were gone the minute I was in the open water.  I felt like I was meant to be on this trip. 

I’m living on the top deck, in a room with one other person (an awesome Irish girl named Amanda). We hit is off immediately and enjoy hanging out over the course of the trip.  My dive buddy is amazing, name is Uli and he’s from Germany.

On Board!
  We are well matched, we’re both great on air and we’re excellent at pointing out things to each other.  We also like to take our own path, leaving the masses behind and navigating our own course.  On this trip I’ll do my own navigation for the first time, leading Uli and I to all sorts of amazing places and always finding my way back to the boat with just the right amount of air to spare. 

Our meals are sensational. I feel like I haven’t eaten real meals like this since I left home.  It’s all home cooking and made fresh daily.  The big meals are important after spending nearly 4 hours underwater every day.  Our schedule is packed.  Typically we’re woken up at 6:50 am, have eaten and are in the water by 8-8:30.

Our gear
  We do two dives in the morning, then its lunch, then a dive, a siesta, a fourth dive, then dinner.  People are so tired by days end it’s usually everyone to bed by 9 or 10. 

The water is rough once we’re outside the Great Barrier Reef.  Most people get sea sick at some point on the trip, including myself on day 4.  I thought I was doing pretty good but that last night was tough.  Water was pouring over the sides of the boat onto the lower deck.  I did my best to hold it together, even took sea sickness pills, but in the end I spent part of the night with my head in the toilet, limbs sprawled across the tiny bathroom floor in a lame attempt to stabilize myself while the boat thrashed at sea.  Good times!  I barely slept that night, how could I with my mattress swinging from one end of my bunk to the other as the boat rocked side to side!  It was all worth it though!  The diving was INSANE!!  This will go down as one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life.

Sun deck
  No matter what will come in my future, I know that this experience will be at the top of my list.  I see everything I could imagine except for say a ghost pipe fish (but heck they are nearly impossible to find!).   

Highlights for sure are:

Seeing a huge loggerhead turtle on the first day.  It swam right into our dive group, turned around and swam between us to get back into the wide open water. 

All the sharks!!!  I saw two white tip sharks on my first dive and it just got better from there!  On the second dive Uli and I went down a path known as shark alley and saw 6 white tips, one was 6-7 feet long and resting on the ocean floor.

My view for the next 5 days
  We swam just over top of it, flying like superman through water above it, in awe of its stillness and huge body!  I became known as the one who finds things.  Everyone wanted to follow Uli and I on our dives as I seemed to find the big stuff that no one else saw.  What a site to come up and talk about our adventure and realizing we were the only ones to see sharks, turtles etc. 

The isolation was one of my favourite things about the trip.  We only saw one boat while out on the water, and that was only for one dive.  And even then they were far into the distance you weren’t close enough to see a crew member or diver.  Other than that boat it was just us, no one else.

Schedule
  This is an amazing treat because you get used to running into other divers and sharing sites with them.

The other divers were fantastic on the trip.  People varied in experience and age.  We all wanted to be there and were serious about our diving.  We helped each other with gear, shared experiences and were professional with the dives.  I appreciated being with such a great crew and an excellent group of divers.

Other amazing things we saw: scorpion fish, frog fish (THIS IS AWESOME), stone fish, nudibranches of all sorts of colours (oh and a giant burgundy and white one), cuttle fish (a great momma one that changed colour when we swam by in order to draw us away from her little ones), an amazing octopus, a school of approximately 80 bullhead parrotfish (hello!), a swimming feather star, harlequin sweet lips (possibly my favourite fish to see), schools of jack fish, giant clams (and I mean GIANT), leaf fish (saw a pink one trying to walk across the sand ��" too much!), schools of unicorn fish, swam with trevally, flutemouths, humugs, trumpet fish, amazing coral, beautiful butterfly fish, barramundi cod, blue spotted rays, and all the usual wrasse etc.

Ready ready for a dive
 

More in the next entry...

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Boat!
The Boat!
Getting ready to go
Getting ready to go
On Board!
On Board!
Our gear
Our gear
Sun deck
Sun deck
My view for the next 5 days
My view for the next 5 days
Schedule
Schedule
Ready ready for a dive
Ready ready for a dive
Cant wait to get in the water!
Can't wait to get in the water!
Almost ready
Almost ready
Angus and I
Angus and I
Uli and I ready to dive
Uli and I ready to dive
Angus waiting for us in the water
Angus waiting for us in the water
Me jumping in
Me jumping in
Uli ready to go
Uli ready to go
You can see the reef in this one -…
You can see the reef in this one …
Chilling out
Chilling out
Everyone!
Everyone!
My walk to my room
My walk to my room
Dive company
Dive company
Dining room
Dining room
Another schedule
Another schedule
Yum - my first and last beer on th…
Yum - my first and last beer on t…
Eating
Eating
More eating
More eating
Love that reef!
Love that reef!
My room - Im the top bunk
My room - I'm the top bunk
View from inside my room
View from inside my room
Love that sun deck
Love that sun deck
Great Barrier Reef
photo by: Makkattack