While I could have stayed in AnK’s spare bedroom forever, I’d come to Queensland to dive the Great Barrier Reef. For this adventure I once again joined forces with Josh, who found us a sweet diving opportunity.
For 3 days/2 nights I was a paying customer on a liveaboard dive boat out on the Great Barrier Reef. The days were a steady rhythm of dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, sleep. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.
On the third day, though, I transitioned over to a voly for another week on the boat. I moved from a 4-person cabin room on the upper deck to a room in the port catamaran float that had two shelves, one for the photographer on the bottom and one for two volunteers on top. The routine changed from diving, eating and sleeping to endless dish washing, diving, eating and sleeping. Each night I crashed out on my shelf by 9 or 9:30 wondering how I made it through the day (granted, by the end of the 10 days I’d picked up a cold!).
It had been awhile since I’d seen any form of manual labor, but the job got done – even on the day the dishwasher broke. Plus, in exchange for all that dishwashing, I was diving 3-4 times a day! Not too shabby. Getting to sample the Scottish chef’s creations and hear his hilarious stories, while I toiled over the mess, were an added bonus. There were a lot of laughs while on the boat and a lot of interesting people cruising through.
During these past 10 months of travel, I’d picked up mixed reviews on diving the GBR. My verdict? Phenomenal diving. The boat cruised generally between 3 reefs and various dive sites so there was always something new to see. There were shallow, colorful hard coral and deep bombies. There were turtles and sharks and even a manta ray. There were challenging currents to fight, nudibranchs to find and night dives to mix it up. They sent us off unguided – which at first was alarming as a novice diver – but there were always more experienced folks around, tons to learn and heaps of confidence to earn. Overall, another fantastic experience on this round-the-world adventure!
*Click on any photo to bring up a larger version and slideshow! Also, check out this video from one of my dives of a turtle eating a jellyfish! Nomnomnom!