Here's what I've been upto:
Spent 6 days in airlie beach, having a mixture of nights partying and doing a 3 day sailing and diving trip on a boat around the whitsunday islands. There are loads of boats that go there, mine was a bit pricier than most but well worth it. Stayed on a catamaran, with a nice, fun group of people, funny and enthusiastic crew and some really tasty food. We did a mixture of beach/walks and diving/snorkelling. Although the weather wasn't always great, half the time sunny the other half either cloudy or tipping it down, we all made the most of it and even ended up just putting on wetsuits sitting out on the front of the boat and embracing the elements :). And although I thought it would really effect how good a dive you had, it actually only reduced the visibility and colours a little bit. I really loved the 3 dives I did down there. The islands are at the bottom of the great barrier reef and there was an unbelievale amount of plant and animal life down there to see. I must have seen 50 times what I saw when I first went diving in NZ, hundreds of fish and 20-30 different types of fish/crustacean. Of all sizes from minute to 3ft coral trout being cleaned by smaller fish (like in a sharks tale) and a mauri rass which was ma-husive at about 3ft high by around 5 1/2ft long. Also saw so many brightly coloured fish inc. angelfish, clown fish (like nemo), stingray, loggerhead turtles and my faveourite the harlequin tuskfish which is really bright and looks like its all different colours when moving in the light. As well as all the fish there is a massive variety of coral which at times forms towering walls and crevaces that we swam through. Diving is currently looking to be one of my faveourite things, it has such a feeling of pure exploration and there's a whole different world down there to see. I would definately consider going on holidays just to do diving each day sometime in the future. Not sure if I mentioned but I'm also doing my advanced course (which I started today), so far I've done my underwater navigation (using a compassunderwater ) and advanced buoyancy (floating like a buddha or headfirst upside down - which looks most amusing) but I have to leave in a minute to do my night dive and 2moro I get to do 2 deep (up to 30m instead of 18) and wreck dives (both of which you can only do on or after the advanced course). Apparently the wreck I'm diving (the S.S. Yongala) is the best dive in Australia and in the top 5 in the world so I'm really excited for it now!
Pics and responses to come so keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days!