14th MAY 07
Thankfully we made it back from our scuba diving expedition on the barrier reef in one piece, it was "great". We started off the trip at 8 in the evening and were greeted when we got onboard with free champagne and nibbles which all went down rather well, we then sailed through-out the night to our first dive location on the outer Great Barrier reef. We were up, fed and in the water before 8am for our first dive. This place is not classed as the seventh wonder of the world for nothing'', the coral is every colour under the sun, the fish come in all shapes, sizes and colours, there's octopuses, turtles, sea snakes, GIANT cod and sharks, yes sharks; hammerheads, white tip sharks and reef sharks swimming all around you. The chance to interact with these animals underwater is amazing. The only problem was turning your back on a shark once that you had spotted it, although they say that attacks are extremely rare, you just can't help but be nervous when you can see big "nobbies" swimming around you, and there were lots of places that we dived were it was just a wall that would drop down almost forever, you could just see blackness beneath you and you were always just a little nervous in case a great white decided to attack from the black depths below........
we spent four days out on the reef doing 5 dives per day, all this time underwater (upto 6hrs per day) combined with the increased pressure on your system whilst at depth, meant that with half a bottle of wine in the evening we were sound asleep by nine thirty. This was a good thing because we needed all of our energy for the next days diving.
On the last day the guide set up the shark feeding dive which involved the group sitting 20 meters under the water on a large rounded piece of coral which had been named (convieniently) the ampitheater, it was like sitting in the Empire in Liverpool watching a play, only 60 feet underwater and much more scary. Once we were all perched comfortably they brought down a iron dust bin full of small holes wich contained lots of fish guts, heads etc. The sharks can smell the blood for miles and soon enough there were 50 plus circleing us and the dust bin, the whole thing can only be described as "sureal," at one point I wanted to remove my face mask because I could'nt believe my eyes, I wanted to check that it was all really happening, after twenty minutes of us sitting there with sharks swimming straight at your face then just turning away last minute they opened the dust bin up, the ensuing few minutes were unbelievible, watching these things tearing the giant tuna's to pieces no more than 10 feet away from your face is lets just say; a little "hairy."
The oxygen tank that would usually last a hour plus was used up in well under 40 minutes, when your heart is beatting this quick you use a lot more air.
what an experience!!!!
Now, you's are all probably thinking we have either gone a bit nuts or just simply got a death wish but the whole thing was nothing short of amazing. We ended the trip with a 1 hour low level scenic flight over the great barrier reef back to cairns.
Once we got back to dry land we decided to sell the UTE, although she done us proud for the 2000 miles up the east coast, we were a little bit unsure about taking her into the un-relenting outback. Out here it gets that hot that the tyres can melt, and if you have a breakdown the nearest gararge can be a full 2 day drive away, so we have decide to rent a campervan for our final 4 weeks in OZ.
Tommorow we're going BUSH!
hope everone back home is o.k