Diving Dreams on The Great Barrier Reef & Cairns
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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As we said in our earlier blog we were not planning on doing a live-aboard on the Great Barrier reef. It was a last minute decision thanks to David's advice.
I am so happy that we did decide to go. Pro Dive Cairns are the best dive outfit I have ever used and we had the most amazing 3 days out on the reef. One of the reasons why we chose them was because they have exclusive access to certain reefs so we knew that we would be the only dive boat on those particular sites. As Cairns is such a popular place for diving you could find yourself on a dive site with another 100 divers which is my idea of a nightmare.
The boat we were on was a multimillion dollar boat especially designed for diving and you could tell
What about the dives I hear you ask! I will let Karen tell you about those and about Cairns itself but what I will say is finally I have got to dive with sharks! I am talking proper sharks too. 3 meters long baby! Woo hoo. What an experience. To all the non-divers out there who are thinking we are crazy. Nope, we are perfectly sane (well almost ). They are the most beautiful animals to see in the ocean. They glide about the water like a jet and I felt privileged to be in their environment. Remember that there are less than a 100 fatal shark attacks a year and yet we kill 100 million of them annually. Who is scarier?
I have to say, the image of a huge 2 metre long reef shark swimming right past me at the start of our night dive will remain with me forever. I was soooo thrilled and excited and yet part of me couldn’t believe I was actually doing it. The whole experience inspired a blog post about overcoming our fears which you can read here.
But back to the diving. The first thing that struck me was the gorgeous blue colour as we descended to the reef. I would be surprised time and time again by the amount of huge fish swimming around, my favourite being the bumphead wrasse which looks a little pre-historic.
The reef was in good condition and had loads of different type of fish. It became the norm to spot white tipped sharks and turtles on our dives, although I have to say I found the amazing patterns on some of the little fish just as exciting....well maybe not as exciting as the shark.
We were extremely lucky with the weather (once again) and managed to avoid any sign of stormy weather which is quite common during this month. The dive conditions were brilliant with great visibility and not a hint of currents.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend 3 days. We were either diving, or eating or chilling out with other divers on the boat. I’m sure it will be a memory I will return back to time and time again.
But besides the diving there’s also the gorgeous town of Cairns
Cairns has a little touch of Asia with its night markets, food stalls and palm trees – something which we really didn’t expect. We made the most of our full day there and visited the famous lagoon which is a gargantuan swimming pool right by the sea and it is absolutely brilliant.
We also visited the Botanical Gardens and discovered that over here even the frikkin trees are dangerous. There’s a particular tree that has a caustic sap which will basically burn your skin really badly if you come into contact with it. The flowers are quite pretty though!
Whilst we hadn’t originally planned to visit Cairns it turned out to be a great part of our trip in Oz. So if you’re ever on this side of the world make sure you come visit and book a dive or 11 with Pro-dive – they’re absolutely brilliant.
We left Cairns in style on the Tilt train and headed to our next adventure, a week in an Ashram
See you in the lotus position
Karen & Paul