Awesome vis under the boat
I had been looking forward to this day for about10 days now ever since Jim and Laurie told me you could go on the TAKA live aboard for free as long as you did a bit of general housekeeping. So I signed my name up for the 16th May.
Tuesday evening was pretty straightforward as it was stocking up from the previous trip which had just come in at 3pm and then next trip was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm so there is a small window in which to turn the boat around.
I met the crew who I would be working closely with and that was Caroline the chef and Leila who was the cabin attendant, they were going to be beasting me for the next few days.
Duties were pretty straightforward throughout the trip and my first day was something along these lines all days was pretty much similar.
6am: Wash up and help prepare the morning’s brekkie, also stock up various food items in fridges etc.
7:30 Wash up and clean up kitchen, 8:30 Hoover and clean passenger’s cabins, then after that it was a couple of menial cleaning task no stress or drama.
Feeding time at Cod Hole
Bringing me up to about
11:30ish when I had my first dive on the Great Barrier Reef:
Cod Hole: This was a feeding dive basically the crew take down a feed bucket and feed huge cod, Fantastic to see such huge fish so close up I guess these guys are probably about 60kilos so they are pretty big. We were then led to a place called Shark Alley where I did manage to capture on camera one of these beasts. I was diving with an English guy called Simon who was no problem and made my dives very easy and fun.
We spent some time looking about ourselves before we returned to the surface and me back to helping prepare lunch:
So after about 1:30 after lunch was done and the clean up finished I basically got to do my second dive of the day again at Cod Hole: This time we were all given the freedom to go and explore what we wanted to so that suited me and Simon let me lead the dive, again lots of fish and loads of gorgeous coral.
Back on board I then had a break until
6pm so not bad for my first day I declined the night dive as they don’t really do much for me at 7pm at night!
Dinner was served and the clean up takes till about 21:30 and my day is done.
Not bad work really washing up became a bit of a pain in the ass but never mind I didn’t pay $650 for the trip so I was happy with a little work.
Day Two was a little bit more dramatic with the early morning dive going off without a hitch, the customers get to dive whilst we are cleaning up brekkie and hovering rooms etc so they actually are supposed to dive 4 times on 2 days and then twice on the last day.
So dive two of the day came up and I got in to a dive site called Steve’s Bommy: It gets this name as a Solo Diver by the name of Steve died here and his body has never been recovered it goes pretty deep apparently.
So I get in the water camera ready as this is supposed to be the most amazing site, as I am entering the water my
camera takes a slight knock on the side no big deal its not leaking.
As I drop with Simon and start to see the Bommy in the distance the visibility here is probably about 30metres I pull my camera out and press the viewfinder button, Nothing happens, I look at it best I can under water and quickly realise that the little knock had pushed the lens cap into the closed position!!!!!!! Ahhh so no photos of Steve's Bommy but I guess I have them in my head. The Disco Clam was probably the coolest thing there, It looks like there is electricity inside this clam it’s so cool. There are so many scools of big fish it is unbelieveable, something that surprised me was how close the fish let you get to them they never seemed to dart or swim off just because you were there.
So a bit gutted but never mind, all is well when I get back to the boat so back to my surface interval station where I off gas for what should be my next afternoon dive.
Andy then comes into the lounge area of the boat and announces to most
of the passengers disappointment that we are having to head inland to Cooktown as one of the divers a passenger came up from 20 meters very quickly and may be bent, All the passengers looked gutted I must admit then I quickly realised that means I would not be diving again DOH!!!. I was not too bothered as I had not paid but I expect they were pretty pissed off.
So in to Cooktown we sailed it did mean that I had about 5 hours off doing anything that day which was cool. After we arrived in Cooktown said bloke was taken away and it turned out he had been stung underwater, vomited through his reg and then bolted to the surface.
So after dropping him and his wife off we stayed in Cooktown allowing the passengers and the crew a run ashore. I declined and stayed on the oat it was nice to get some time away from everyone. With everyone back on board we set sail at 22:00 and the guy’s condition was better supposedly but he was being airlifted from Cook town to Cairns.
A rough night was had with me waking up a few
times due to the windy weather it took us nearly 8 hours to reach out next site all the while heading back south to Cairns.
Day 3: No diving for me so not a lot to report except that I had to do lots more cleaning and hovering.
Got back to Cairns and thoroughly felt like I had been working hard, but I really enjoyed my diving on the reef it was a great experience and the marine life was so great in numbers and diversity.
It was a great experience and watching what the actual instructors are doing on the boat can give you a good insight as to whether you are cut out for it or not or in fact want to work that hard on a boat in between dives.
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