Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef 10th-13th August, 2010

Day One. I’m setting out on my maiden voyage on Emperor Wings.. it’s a humid, muggy day and I’m perspiring.. this might have something to do with running back to the car to fetch my beer before the boat leaves, whoops!

Within the first hour of the trip, were all perched on the front of the boat as it glides through the sea, listening to Richie give us a talk on diving and snorkeling, of course none of us are taking any notice of him with the two baby hump back whales playing in the water behind.

This wasn’t the last of the whales to be seen on our trip, in total we saw about eight or nine with lots breaching, a dolphin playing at our bow, couple of sea snakes.. some say fighting.. I think more sweet romance on the waves.. I mean who would meet in the middle of the ocean for a dust off? Some turtles and millions of different types of fish, this was all from just being on the boat.

Pull up to a beautiful cove after a couple of hours and I volunteer to do my first dive in my life, so we all get togged out in full gear, suit, tank and weights and do an intro course into how not to drown with my dive buddies, Eoin and Lisa. We get the basics pretty much nailed, so down we go and explore the reef around us, while only 4-6 meters deep, there was still fantastic schools of fish around.

Day Two. Did someone order in rain this morning? Wake up in my cosy little cabin, with my fellow ship mates to the teeny tiny pattering of rain on our porthole.

If you were standing on Whitehaven beach that day, you would of seen teams of flubbering, floundering seals pulling themselves slowly onto shore.. that would be us all dressed up in wetsuits for our day on the beach.

Despite the rain we all had a jolly good time, going up to the look out, viewing the crystal blue waters and all the black shapes of the manta rays in shore. We all then had a splash in the sea, did some funky things with a camera.. well Jake did funky things with the camera, we just looked stupid doing things – which wasn’t hard for me!

After lunch headed off for my second dive with Lisa in the world wide ocean. I think Richie was trying to compliment me, but he kept giving me too little weight, or maybe I just look fatter than I am? Donning two wetsuits was terrible, I was like a buoy to the surface. Eventually I got down, lots of interesting things to see, but nothing highly exciting.. not this dive.

Day Three. Did someone order a side of chips with that? The running joke was that no-one wanted to dive with me and Eoin, as both our feet were bleeding.. you could understand why hey? Scaredy cats! So down we go to explore a wall which drops some 20 meters plus, but as new divers we stay above the 12 meter limit. Richie our dive instructor starts crunching a bottle to see if he can attract any sharks, straight away four or five zip in, some white tip sharks and bronze whaler sharks – they investigate us for thirty seconds, decide all that rubber and metal isn’t worth the effort and head back into the reef.

What we found out afterwards was interesting. What we didn’t spot except for one girl, was that a large bronze whaler came right up behind Richie, the girl was pointing frantically. Richie has does this a lot in his life.. and he was pretty concerned the way the sharks were behaving.. they were on the prowl for food that was for sure.. luckily we all survived to live another day, huzzah!

Everyone aboard Emperor Wings was amazing, the people were great, the staff couldn’t do enough for you, Richie was ace and always on form, Jake did a great job keeping us fed and taking really funky pictures, Stewie & Mike kept the boat from sinking, plus Stewie liked his blonde wig a bit too much for my liking and Caroline was just awesome friendly! Can highly recommend these guys for sure.

And I only got sea sick twice and I contained my stomach’s contents.. just!