15 July 2008

Great Barrier Reef

We're in Berlin for the week and tomorrow we'll spend the day with the kids. On Friday we leave for a week in Zurich.

Since arriving in Germany, we've been to Dresden and Bad Karlshafen - more on these places in later posts.

Before leaving Australia, we went up to Queensland where we got in a day of diving on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns. It's our second visit to dive here, and to be honest, I don't think that we're big-boat divers.

The boats that go out to the reef typically carry between 80-100 people with a mix of snorkellers and divers. It's a well set up operation and everything is taken care of by the competent crew, but they do play it safe by visiting the same places day after day. Those poor dive masters must get really bored from swimming around the same coral bommies! Plus, the competency of some of our fellow divers leaves us bemused. 20 minutes into our second dive, one of our party indicated that he only had 50 bars of air left in his tank, (we still had about 180 bars left), so our whole dive was aborted so that he could be taken back to the boat.

We got in 3 dives and saw some interesting stuff, but nothing that had us raving as per the Musandam or Maldives. I think that we've been spoiled by diving in some great areas of the world!

Spine-cheeked Anemone fish

Feeding Blue Spotted Ray

Pretty Purple Hard Coral

Funny little things - I've never bothered to find out what they're called!

Green plant life amongst hard red coral

Feeding Hawksbill Turtle breaking off chunks of coral

The inside of a clam shell

J finning around a bommie

A friendly Napolean Wrasse who swam with us for the entire first dive, keeping us together as if playing tour guide and divemaster!

A tiny Nudibranch - about 8cm long

Pink Anemone fish

A sleeping Green Turtle. I don't know who would have gotten the bigger fright if he had woken up - me or him, as I was only about 50cm away!

If we ever go back to the Great Barrier reef to dive, we'll only consider a live-aboard dive boat that takes smaller groups and goes out for 3-4 days at a time, and to places where the big day-boats don't go.


CG said...

Oh, absolutely amazing photos (as usual....lol). Are you sure the turtle thing was asleep. Next time I dare you to give it a nudge.

Dubai Sunshine said...

Your pictures are truly breathtaking! It's worthy of National Geographic! :)

LDU said...

I'd love to go diving some time soon. Something that I've wanted to do for a long time but haven't come around to doing yet. Looks like you two had fun!

Pandabonium said...

Thank you for those wonderful pictures. Sorry you had some disappointments, but glad you got some diving in before heading to Europe.

Looking forward to more posts.

MamaDuck said...

Stupendous photos! And welcome back to El Blogosfero, you lazy person you.

nzm said...

CG: Yeah it was asleep and I wouldn't dare nudge it. Turtles can be quite aggressive. We saw a program where a turtle attacked a tiger shark and it knew where to hit the shark too - right in the gills. The shark fled!

DS: Welcome back to blogging and thanks for the comp! I sure miss you guys and would kill for another sushi meal like we had with Mory!

ldu: Go diving - but not in Melbourne, it's too cold!

PandaB You're welcome and there are more posts to come, I promise!

MamaDuck: Just as well that Keefie told me that this comment was left by him (logged in as you) as I was about to give you some grief about the lack of new posts on your blog!

Jayne said...

Wow - bloody amazing photos hon!
Have you ever thought about taking a dive off of the coast in Mozambique? I'm told it's awesome.

nzm said...

Jayne: Yes we have. One of the Saffie Dive Instructors from Pavilion Dive Centre at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel had a dream to go to Mozambique and set up a dive operation. We promised Gary that when he did it, we'd be his first customers!

meg said...

LOVE these photos! and enjoying your notes on iceland, one of my all time photogs is from there:- http://rebekkagudleifs.com/blog/ or http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/ but I like your captures too!