Finding Nemo

Authored By Jennifer

One of the highlights of our trip to Australia was diving the Great Barrier Reef. We booked a 5-day course with Pro Dive Cairns, one of the best dive centers in the world. We spent two days in the pool learning all of the basic skills and three days on a boat out at the Reef diving our hearts out. We had two instructors, Dave, (also known as James Bond) who is English and the most certified instructor in all of Queensland, taught us all of the book work. And he was pretty cute. For the pool skills, we were put into Warren’s group at the last minute. Warren is a very loud South African who had just been out for 3 weeks with a very bad ear infection. He found out 5 minutes before he started teaching, that he would be teaching our class. I think he was still on medication because he was acting a little weird. He was far from organized, but he was pretty funny. And he was kinda cute too.

After the first day in the pool, I wasn’t sure I was going to continue because I just wasn’t comfortable breathing underwater. But after a pep talk from Warren about how “Yanks never quit” there was no way I was giving up. The second day was much better and by the time we were in the ocean I was fine.

I’m not sure how many of you SCUBA dive, or have been out to the Great Barrier Reef, but it is absolutely amazing. I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it really does look like the movies under there. There were thousands of fish of all colors and sizes, and the most beautiful coral. Sometimes it felt like we were swimming through skyscrapers, but it was all coral. We did a deep dive (90 feet) and there was a 60 foot coral mountain right next to us. We were on the ocean floor looking up and it looked like it was raining fish. We also saw a few reef sharks, green sea turtles, and gigantic clams. We even had a pod of dolphins swim in the wake of our boat one morning. It was truly an amazing experience. My Uncles dive in Monterey Bay pretty frequently, and and I’m looking forward to going with them to check it out. However, we were diving without a wetsuit in water that was 86 degrees. Not sure if I’ll be able to handle the cold Monterey Bay.

The other great part about the trip was all the people we met. There was one other guy from SF, but otherwise we were the only Americans on the boat of 32 people. Among other people, I met some new English mates. These 4 young lads just graduated from University and were traveling for a few months. They were 21 and 22 and were headed to LA and Vegas after a few weeks in New Zealand. While in LA they were going to visit Newport Beach because they love the OC. How cute is that? After we got off the boat, a bunch of us met up for some dinner and drinking. We drank and drank and then hit the dance floor. It was such a blast! At one point in the evening, a Robbie Williams song came on. He’s had a little bit of popularity in the US, but he’s bigger than the Queen in England. Brian and I had never heard the song before but my English mates gathered arm in arm and sang all the words as loud as the could as they were swaying back and forth. Hilarious. It was one of the most fun nights we’ve had so far. Cheers Mates!

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