Published: September 5th 2007September 5th 2007
Room with a view...
We arrived in Cairns and booked ourselves into a lovely hostel...really chilled out and had a few days hanging out, shopping and planning our last two weeks in Australia. We arrived in Cairns two weeks early than we planned to be there so we had to go back to the LP and travel agencies and fill our next two weeks with fun - filled things to do. I was looking into doing a day trip on the Great Barrier Reef but David and I talked about it and we had just had such an amazing time on the Whit Sunday cruise, that we really wanted to go back out on a boat again for a few days. We decided on a three day live aboard the boat diving trip and I was so excited. This time, the boat was slightly more luxurious, had an indoor lounge so in case the weather does turn for the worse, there is somewhere to retreat to whereas on the sailing boat if that happened, you would have to sit outside on the deck and suffer it. We also had our own private cabin, three meals a day plus cake and tea a few times in
Rigggghhhht (said in a Dr Evil Accent)
between and 11 dives to be done within the 3 days! Hardcore! The most dives we have done in one day is three and that left the two of us nackered!
Anyway, pick up was at 6.15 in the morning to take us down to the dive shop to get our gear etc sorted out and then all aboard for the 3 hour journey out to the reef. The weather was really stormy which was why we got the trip for such a good deal so we were warned that the boat would be rough and that we should take sea sickness tablets. Ofcourse, me and David wouldn't hear of it, thought we were bigskins - we had never been sick on a boat in our lives so we spent the entire three hours of the journey hanging over the side of the boat, distributing parts of our breakfast throughout the sea and watching it blow up wind to the end of the boat! mmmmnnn....graphic...at one stage, I was so wet from the spray of the sea whilst hanging over the age, people actually thought I'd been in for a swim, my hair and clothes were soaking and I
had to strip down to my bikini and towel and sit shivering and in foetel position until the boat came to a standstill! I made sure that on the return journey, my stomach would be filled with sea sickness tablets!
After the boat stopped, it was gear on for the first dive of the day. I wasn't sure if I was feeling up to it but I actually felt much better in the sea than on the boat. The diving was class and me and David were left to our own devices under the sea which turned out to be both good and bad...it was good because we didn't have to follow a group around the dive site and we could go off on our own and look at whatever we wanted...bad because on one of the dives, we got so lost under the sea and didn't realise it..that we were dragged about a mile or more off course (we got side tracted by a family of huge turtles and started following them...whoopsies) and when we surfaced, we couldn't even see where the boat was which was pretty scary biscuits. The waves were huge and I was out of
About to pop under in the darkness...
air and my snorkel was continually filling with water so it wasn't that comfortable or relaxing. After a moment, one wave came down and we could see the boat off in the distance - David wanted me to swim to it but I'm not a strong swimmer and I took cramp in my leg so we had to resort to signalling to the boat for them to come out and pick us up! The speed boat arrived and we were dragged back to the boat and all the instructors were in fits laughing...wondering how we could have went so wrong....so it was funny afterwards and for the rest of the trip, all digs about navigation were aimed in our direction...haha...trust the two paddies...in our defence though, we weren't the only ones! haha...so we paid attention much more to navigation after that!
Apart from that, we had a fantastic few days. It was dive after dive, great food and snacks in between, everyone on the boat was really cool and friendly and this boat was much more comfortable than the sailing boat so there were plenty of places to sit, sunbathe and relax! We saw many different kinds of fish
A happy Jenni...
- nemos, mooring idols, barracuda, trumpet fish, parrot fish, bumphead parrot fish, turtles, sting rays, grey reef sharks and white tip sharks so the diving was class. The reef was also amazing in some parts but in a few places, it looked quite battered from the sea and possibly overtrafficked but you get that everywhere...
We came off the boat after three days, sunburnt, tired and with a new pair of sea legs! Haha! We were so glad that we booked the three day trip afterall and not just a one day trip out to the reef.
We are now in Cairns after a few days spent further north in Cape Tribulation and Port Douglas. We have a few day trips planned to the Tablelands and possibly a croc cruise but mostly the next few days will be spent organising ourselves for Asia and clearing out the backpacks of all winter clothes as we are now going in to tempwratures of at least 30 degrees celsius!
Hope everyone at home is well and we will check in again from Singapore! The journey home has begun!
There are more photos below