Week 2: Great Barrier Reef & Tablelands

17 08 2009

The dive company picked me up at my hostel on Tuesday morning and we set off for the reef.  Kiwa, my Japanese roommate, and I did an advanced dive course, which included a guided night dive, deep dive, and navigation dive.  I did it so I can do more adventurous dives when I come back to volunteer, but in the end, it is also a good way to get some free guided dives!

We saw all sorts of amazing creatures, I got to hold big sea cucumbers, saw loads of barracuda, 5 sharks (including one on a night dive), a giant moray eel just hanging in the open water, manta rays, nemos, and lots of other unnamed but very pretty things.   It was friggin Mumbai at rush hour on the 8am dives, and I can’t even tell you how many Disney movie songs and scenes were running through my head!  The other Disney moments I had came night #2, when the stars were just ridiculous.  We laid out on the deck pretending to know constellations, and just taking in the fact that we were enjoying an incredible show of stars while relaxing after 36 hours of diving on the Great Barrier Reef!!!

I didn’t really ever feel any fear, I can only recall 3 times of discomfort.  One, when Kiwa and I were night diving and just couldn’t get around places without losing eachother or see too much.  Two, when we saw our first shark in the daytime and some other divers swam by making it decide to move out, at first in my direction.  Three, after the 3rd dive of the 2nd day- I had used a ton of air quickly and was getting paranoid that I had some sort of, I don’t know, mild nitrogen overdose.   I think I was just tired.

On Saturday I went on a tablelands tour with Richard and Mika.  It was really nice and we saw a ton.  And listened to a ton of Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey on Richards MP3 player.  He got a bunch of music from a friend, and playing it on random is pretty friggin entertaining.  We went to a mango winery, coffee plantation, wetlands area, 4 wheeled around a lake, had lunch in Yangaburra where we stopped in at the craziest small town gift shot art gallery place EVER ever ever ever.  Upstairs, alongside excessive signs prohibiting photography, and threatening against shoplifters, there was this crazy doll display of fairies protecting the rainforest… it was so incredibly weird and amazing.  It left us all pretty speechless!

I decided that day to hop on a bus first thing Sunday morning to head to Townsville, and I am so glad I did.  I love it here!

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