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Published: March 17th 2013
Well, our full day diving trip was cancelled due to a cyclone pushing through our location the night before our trip - this left the ocean extremely rough and no good for us to go out on. A bit disappointing, but they could guarantee all of us getting sick - no thanks! By the time we were done with breakfast, the rain stopped and the clouds did not look quite as heavy so we headed out for a hike up Cooks Look - to the highest point on the island. It was actually quite challenging - yep, even for those of us who live where there is less oxygen to breathe. It was quite humid ='s very sweaty, and some of the steep rock faces were still wet - making them a little slippery. We made it all the way up after about 1hr or so, signed the summit guest book and ejoyed the 360 degree view of the island and the ocean and the reef! Lizard island is aptly named as there are some large lizards that live there. They like the sun, so we had not seen any - but on our way back down, the sun tried to
View from top of Cooks look
dark blue parts are the reef!
come out and we saw 2 large lizards! These ones were about 3-4ft nose to tail - they are afraid of us so they are not dangerous at all. We earned our lunch that day!
The island has no store for supplies - all of the fresh fruits/veggies come on the plane, but everything else has to be brought on a barge. The barge comes every 2 weeks - this was the day it came to the island - everything from food to toilet paper to hand soap! This is also the only way things get off the island - rubbish is kept in a large warehouse cooler until the barge comes and then it takes it all away. Quite a system they have in place! While watching this happen at the beachfront, we both were eaten a live by the "heaps of mozzys" (lots of mosquitos)! I am still itching today!
Since our trip was cancelled we created our own way to go out for full day on the water the following morning - when they skies cleared and the sun came out! We headed out to the 1st reef called No Name Reef to do our
first dive. We were down for about 1hr, to a max depth of ~10meters (~30ft). The reef walls are huge and so colorful! Lots of smaller fish - every color of the rainbow! Next diving spot is very well known - Cod Hole Reef. Here after stepping in the water w/ our gear, we immediatley saw 3 sharks, some bass type fish w/ big teeth and huge potato cod! Our guide took a bucket of "treats" down with us to feed the fish - they followed her like any dog would w/ a handful of treats! The potato cod that was hanging out w/ us, brushing against us or trying to swim between us weighted in at about 700lbs! He was a big boy! The sharks decided to wander elsewhere - I was kinda happy about that. While she was feeding the fish, we were told to just kneel on the bottom (12m/~40ft), but that was hard as there was quite a current in the water that day - that would just move us back and forth. Our dive was actually cut a little short b/c the current below was so strong. Still amazing!
After our dive, we headed
called giant clam
colors can range from blues to purples to yellows to oranges!
beyond the reef to the continental shelf, where the reef drops to 2-3miles deep! This is where we fished. We each caught a Giant Travalli fish (they are strong!), each a baraccuda also. Then Al pulled in a 1/2 a fish, there was a shark that got the bottom half of it before he could reel it all the way in! Then it was my turn at the rod for our next fish - well, I was reeling it in and all of a sudden it jumped out of the water - its a marlin! It took about 25min to get it close to the boat - my arms were tired by this point. We finally got it in the boat and it was still pretty jumpy. Ross, our fishing guide, was holding it and it was moving so much that it almost knocked him back into the water - I was afraid to get too close as I thought its long nose might spear me! Its red circle on the body is a cookie cutter bite from a small, deep water shark! It looked like a fresh bite. We figure it was 6ft and ~120lbs! Biggest fish I ever
caught! Some people try their whole life to catch a marlin and often never catch it - guess I am lucky! Our guide also told us that they usually find black marlin in that part of the ocean - not blue ones. And if a blue one was to be caught it would usually show up in marlin season...5 months from now! Since we caught a fin fish, the boat can fly a fin fish flag which tells others that we caught a big fish! 😊 We got back to the resort and lets just say good news travels extremely fast on a small island. The resort manager gave me a little brass figure of a marlin to mark the day! That day will be hard to beat!
After our mini plane ride back to the mainland/Cairns, we went out to do some more exploring. We went down one street that was lined on both sides w/ large, thick trees - a lot of noise coming from these trees - after a close look, there were huge bats living in these trees! Thousands of them w/ at least a 2-3ft wing span - gross! The ppl can't do anything
about them b/c they are part of the ecosystem there, so they just take over these trees and fly out for food at night.
We made it to Christchurch tonight - we will see what adventures this country will bring us!
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