Ben and Kirsteen's World Trip 2005/6 travel blog

K in the semi-sub

Fish seen from the semi-sub

The two of us snorkeling

B diving with a giant clam

Wally - a giant moari wrasse

Our boat on the calm, clear sea

K: It was great to be back in Oz and finally getting to the place that we didn't have time to go to in our 2003 trip. We definitely wanted to book our trip out to the great barrier reef as soon as possible as that was why we were here. We were not that fussed about diving, I thought Ben should try it as I had had a go in Eygpt but that had a been painful experience - sinus squeeze, the name says it all.

They night before our trip to the reef we went to a 2 hour lecture type presentation called reef teach by a diver/marine biologist. He was mad but entertaining, in that he put on funny voices and ran about the place. He also knew his stuff and we learnt how to identy different types of fish and coral so that we would actually have a clue at what we where looking at tomorrow.

Snorkling on the great barrier reef was amazing, it was also warm which was great. We were really lucky as it was terrific weather and water clarity. I didn't realise how lucky until we met some people later on who were out for 3 days in less than magnificent conditions. I was so glad we had learned some marine biology because there was just so much to look at and find, apart from the main characters in Finding Nemo. How excited did Ben and I get when we spotted some clown fish in an anemone? Too excited I guess, but then I did have to wear a kids mask because my head was too narrow (?).

B: While out at the reef I did an introductory dive - they brief you, strap on some equipment, check you can breathe under water then an instructor takes you diving. It felt like traveling around in an alien world and took a short while to get used to breathing from a tank (you have to breathe in and out more slowly and controlled than normal). I enjoyed my dive and seeing the fish up close and personal but not sufficiently so that I would do a dive course. I am quite happy snorkeling around on the surface.

The variety and quantity of fish was incredible - every conceivable colour and shape which we were able to recognise thanks to the Reef Teach lecture the day before. We had bought an underwater camera to take pictures while in the water but we haven't used the film up yet. We plan to visit Ningaloo reef on the west coast in a couple of weeks so I'll use it up then and add to photos to the site. We bought the photos from the official photographer which you can see above.

We headed home and went for our free dinner - the hostel gave us vouchers for a bar in town which had 4 free choices or you could upgrade to a real meal for $5. The free ones were not bad and we had them a couple of nights to save some money.

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