Sharks, Turtles, and Sea Sickness
Great Barrier Reef Travel Blog› entry 31 of 53 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More in the next entry...