Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Book ends

I went back out to the reef this weekend. My first weekend in Cairns I went to the reef and now my last. This time my trip was a present (Thanks, JZ!). Kimberley and Hamish joined me and a zippy boat that went out to the "outer reef" about an hour from Cairns. We stopped at 3 different locations on reef. Several tour companies have giant pontoons permanently stationed at the reef, this one didn't. It just attached to an anchor and we all dove off the back of the boat.

At the first location, I did an intro dive. This meant that I went out with an instructor and three others. They gave us a 30 minute briefing on how to clear our masks of water, how to take your regulator out and put it back in, and the hand signs. I've always been a bit weary of diving, but once we got under the water, I felt at ease. It was like flying. And being able to experience the coral in three dimensions was pretty amazing. The downside of being with a group of 5 people was that you didn't get to really explore, you had to follow the group. And, one of the girls in our group was freaking out a bit, so we all had to wait on her. I'd love to do it again, but I think it's probably worthwhile to get the certification so you can have a bit more freedom.

In that way the second and third stops were nice cause I just snorkeled there and could float around wherever I pleased. And I did spot several Nemo's. But these sites didn't have many really big fish. We saw some pretty substantial parrot fish, but no groupers and no sharks. We did see a ray though. Really though, the coral was the stand out. So many different types and colors, and so huge.


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