In search of Rivendell, Helms Deep, Isengard. Yeah! Something precious. travel blog

Scuba Dive Platform, 20ft deep.

White raft is where I came up, gasping.

Fish, with attitude.

Barrier Reef from a submarine.

Like Witchazel?

Various colours of Blue and Yellow.

Each tiny, single polyp is a living organism.

Wide and varied type of coral.

Giant Clam.

Little striped fish, on the hunt?

Full day tour by Quicksilver craft to the Barrier Reef, a special platform 1hr and half out from the sea shore. Wanted to try the Snorkling but was advised that this is done out of one's depth and that the sea was quite rough today.

Surprised myself by booking an introductory Scuba Dive to the bottom instead, considering that I'm a very poor swimmer. It was just awesome (that word again) and exciting. Took a half an hour between getting geared up and practicing on Diving Platform, 20ft below the waves. Then, down, down and further down to the sea floor, 50 to 60 ft deep and over 50 yards away from platform. What a view and what a weird feeling, with the air bubbles blowing up past my face mask. The sound of my breathing was also incredible, like I was in space, just like Darth Vador.

Then, after 10 minutes the unbelievable happened.I got a cramp in my right leg.

I pointed this out to the professional diver, Taka, who accompanied us. He did the usual treatment, stretching out my leg, on the sea floor. After 10 seconds it felt fine. I began investigating a large fish which had just swam to me, WHEN THE CRAMP STRUCK AGAIN. All I remember is one of my hands grabbing at my left leg. I began to breathe/suck in water. I really was quite deep and Taka must have seen the panic in my eyes. He began ramming the air tube back into my mouth, as I swallowed a mixture of both air and water, he got me to the surface, which seemed to take forever. It was an incredible sight to see the sunlight begin to penetrate the blue water as we approached the surface and to know that I was safe. I apologised and felt like a stupid idiot but I would love to do it again.

The experience of swimming at depth was really like being in space. Fantastic. I spent the rest of the afternoon out of the water, as I was afraid of recurring cramp. I would still recommend it to everyone and I have a DVD of my adventure, though I did suggest that they could use it as a teaching aid in how to deal with idiots, they edited out the panicky bit at the end. Also took Undersea Submersible ride around the reef. Beautiful. Thats twice I've been in Australia, twice I've swam in the Pacific, and twice I've nearly drowned and had to be saved. Surely there's a message there somewhere to me?

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