This past weekend, I finally made a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef to do some diving! I stayed aboard the Kalinda for 2 days with a group of about 18 people, plus dive staff and boat crew, and dove Wheeler Reef, acclaimed to be one of the best reefs around. It was a rough 5 hour overnight trip to the area, but the rest of the weekend was great. I got 4 dives in, and a total of 3 hours and 33 minutes of dive time.
A badillion different kinds of coral, all in one place!
Diving here is so different from diving in Oregon! You don't have to wear an inch-thick suit of Neoprene armor to face freezing cold water, which means you don't have to wear nearly as much weight to off-set your bouyancy, and you can actually see things that are more than a meter away from you! Visibility changes the experience entirely. That sounds blatantly obvious, but really, it's a whole different sensation.
My dive partner, Krissy, and me. Photo by Claudia Frey.
I wish I knew all the names of the things I was seeing, but I'm not familiar with tropical marine life, so all I know is what people told me I saw, which includes: white tip reef sharks, parrot fish, angel fish, stingrays (wasn't hard to figure that one out), damselfish, clown fish, various types of sturgeons, a guitar shark, TONS of species of coral, and all the colors you can think of displayed in some type of fish or coral.
But words don't mean anything, so go look at my Great Barrier Reef photo album.
I got to use my tough little camera! I also posted a bunch of my dive partner's pictures, because she got some really great pictures on our deeper dives (my camera only goes down to 10m), and the color in her pictures is much richer. I felt so special though with my sleek, naked little camera while everyone else walked around with their huge underwater casings for theirs.
So many colors! Photo by Krissy Morrow
Diving the Great Barrier Reef is quite an experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing all those creatures just right in front of your face, swimming past your mask... it's one of those things where I had to keep reminding myself I was actually seeing it in person, not on TV. I was right there!