Published: November 11th 2005November 11th 2005
These guys are tiny, the length of a finger.
Hello again all, I made it to Australia after nearly 33 years in this life. Some might say it's been a long time coming (me anyway).
So I flew into Brisbane on Sunday morning, early, and caught a connecting inernal flight to Cairns, arriving early afternoon. You could feel the heat of Cairns immediately, it's consistently around 28-32c here during the day, and probably only drops to 20/22 in the evenings, i.e. tropical!
On Monday I started the dive course and immediately met some really nice people to have a laugh with. The instructor we had was called Arek, from Poland, and was a top bloke - he really knew his stuff as we found out along the way. The course was a 5-day open-water PADI course, certified and recognised around the world (apart from Britain and very few other places, apparently) and consisted of 2 days theory and pool training followed by 3 days and 2 nights live-aboard on the Great Barrier Reef.
I won't bore you with the first two days, although they were great fun for us, but the last 3 days (we got back 2 hours ago) have been totally amazing. I've seen stuff
I never thought I would and learnt some great scuba skills I can now use virtually anywhere in the world.
As well as doing normal daytime dives, to depths of 18metres, we also got taught about underwater photography. I've attached a couple of my snaps for your viewing pleasure. I honestly took these myself (apart from the one with me in it - Arek took it) so hope you like!
The weirdest bit was definitely doing the night dive though. We dived into pitch black water, in small groups of 5 or 6, instructor-led thank God, then dived for around 45 mins with just a torch each. It's pretty strange seeing the reef so quiet (fish do sleep...) but some of the other marine life appears at night. We saw a huge lobster wandering around the corals and a big turtle sleeping inside a cave. Pretty impressive to see at night!
We also did a deep dive today and went to 30metres (the max depth on normal tanks is 40m). We saw venomous lionfish which are cool to see, and a couple of reef sharks at around 1.5m in length. We also found out what it was
Turtle and me
Not scary at all.
like to suffer nitrogen narcosis which is a fairly common dive ailment at depth. It's a bit like being drunk whereby your brain slows down and you feel a bit happy! Anyway, Arek made us do a number pointing game, counting from 1 to 20. It took me 26 seconds at the bottom but only 16 back on the ship - definitely like being drunk!!!
So basically I've seen what I wanted to in the marine world so far - sharks, turtles and just loads of colour as you can see in the clown fish picture. I'm in Cairns for at least a couple more days while I decide what to do next. Am definitely doing white water rafting here, as the Tully river is meant to be amazing for that.
There are more photos below