Quick physics lesson. The deeper you go under water, the stronger the pressure of the weight of the water above and around you becomes. This in turn causes your internal organs to slightly shrink in size, especially the lungs. Pretty simple really - how hard can diving be?
Trundled into Cairns on Monday and set Lily up in a site just out of town. It's a sprawling city, loads of industrial estate nonsense surrounding a centre that looks a bit like Norwich. Early up on Tuesday as we're eager to get the required dive medicals out of the way so we can book our 5-day PADI diving course. Plan - 2 days pool theory then 3 days living aboard a reef-based yacht, diving into the turqouise waters 9 times and seeing all manner of marine wildlife which you can't get near the surface on a snorkelling trip. Well up for it - so off we skip to the medi centre.
Dammit. Surprisingly passed mine but the doc said that due to a bucketload of fluid travelling round my head all the time, effectively a cranium permanently full of snot, I'm going to have serious trouble doing the whole equalising thing with my ears. Can't even go up an escalator without feeling the lugholes pop like a pan of popcorn, so no idea what 5 metres underwater would be like. Abi's go next - if she passes, we try it anyway. I sat in the waiting room, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, quarter of an hour, then she comes out and is declared "permanently unfit" due to a heart murmur. Instead of a thump-thump beat, it's like a whoosh-thump - result of all this medical tomfoolery - no diving. So we did the only thing which could possibly ease the crushing disappointment, met up with Fuzz and got hammered in a UV world of flowers and rum and goldfish racing.
During the subsequent ferocious hang on Wednesday. we decided that surface sports are the way forward - who wants to see fish in the wild anyway as you might as well buy a tank full of them and stare at them from the comfort of your armchair, the breathing stuff is bad for you cos the gas in the cylinders is laced with poison to make you see weird colours, oh yeah and the word diving is an anagram of pants if you add some letters and take some others away - so went wakeboarding all day on Thursday.
Wicked fun. Abi's first time, I'd done it before with Mikey near Woolverstone but this was summat else. Jeff the instructor has this mega-powerful specialised wake boat which threw these ramps up either side of the back of the boat. Abi gets up on her third attempt - I swear that she's some kind of closet professional sportswoman and therefore is full of it when she describes her general imbecility at anything physical. "Pure natural" were Jeff's words. Due to the fact that one of the other guys in the boat, Adam, was landing backflips, thought I'd also give them a crack. Yeah ok, managed to get fully inverted but that's not particularly conducive to landing on the board. I'm still crying lake water onto the keyboard in front of me.
All good - off to stay in a treehouse in the next couple of days then up to Darwin to wrestle (well, look at) crocs. Laters alligators (see what I've done there? crocs, alligators, hmm) C x