October 25th: Great Barrier Reef

The day broke, overcast and ominous. We rode in a minivan to Down Under Dive. We were on their little boat, the Scuba Roo, by 10. As we departed, the skies opened, but we were under cover. After about an hour, we passed out from under the clouds and we stopped to snorkel at a reef. We returned to the boat and it was another hour before we arrived at Hastings Reef and the Atlantic Clipper. We went aboard and put our stuff in our cabin. We had a small lunch, then got ready to dive. The first dive was guided by Jonno, the divemaster. He took us down and around the reef. Being right next to the colorful coral and fish feels like you’re in another world.

When we returned, the Clipper moved to Norman Reef. The motion was making Sharon queasy, and she was eager to leave the boat for our next dive. We went down and followed some of the coral canyons until we were at half air, then turned around. When we reached the end of the coral, I stopped because I saw a very big shark in the distance. We swam left around the coral to avoid him (glimpsing a much smaller reef shark in the coral), then swam to the ship and surfaced. Sharon was unable to finish dinner, and retired to the cabin for the night. We were planning on staying two nights, but we changed it to one so we could leave as soon as possible. I went down too far on my second dive, and wasn’t able to do the night dive. I was disappointed until I went on deck. On the starboard side, about fifteen feet from the dive platform, a school of fish had gathered where a light shown in the water. Around them, five of the seven-foot long reef sharks were circling, attacking the fish and occasionally each other. Watching that, I was not interested in diving again that night.

[Originally published at GoHither.Net]