Monday, February 11, 2008
I'm fresh off the boat from two days out at sea. The Great Barrier Reef was pretty spectacular. It was raining when we took off and the swells at sea were enormous. Within minutes of the trip half the boat was out back puking. It was reminiscent of the Augusts cruise vacation--the one my Dad loves to tell over and over again since he was the only non-puker. I learned from that trip though and stared intensely at the horizon the whole boat ride to the dive site.
On my first dive, within minutes, I saw a reef shark. The meat-eater was about five feet long. He turned to me and started to circle. I showed no fear and braced myself for his oncoming attack. I had my fists of fury in front of me doing my best Bruce Lee impersonation. Clearly the shark had seen his share of kung-fu movies because he backed away and went after easier prey. So for now on call me Bruce Lee-berg, the kung-fu jew. After the shark I decided to encounter more tranquil species. By far the coolest marine life I found was a giant sea turtle chomping away on coral. He was so cute that I did what anyone would do...I threw a net around him and ate him for dinner. He was as delicious as he looked.
Okay, I didn't really net the turtle or fend off any sharks (although I did see four). I think I'm slightly delirious from a combination of getting my land legs and the fact that Cairnes is the most humid place on earth. I'm literally sitting here dripping with sweat (many of you will say this is normal but I'm not even eating). I took off my shirt a few minutes ago and got a strange look from the only other person using the internet. What's with this Australian weather? It's either rainy or absolutely disgustingly hot.
Overall my two days scuba diving were fantastic. However, I had visions of being under water with a whole ecosystem of fish, stingrays, sharks, dolphins and whales coming up to me. That wasn't the case. In fact, to be completely honest I think the scuba diving in Southern California at the Channel Islands and Catalina Island are better than what I saw these past two days. I even overheard a crew worker whisper to someone, "the reef here is dying." I think it's just been over touristfied. Yes, I'm making up that word but I think it's appropriate.
I did love my time here at the Great Barrier reef but wish I could have also seen the outer reef which I hear is spectacular.
I met a bunch of cool people on the trip including a guy from Columbia, a girl from Sydney, a dude from Denmark and a Tazmanian from Tazmania (all pictured including the Dive Master). In traditional August fashion I got all their emails and plan on staying at each of their houses within the next three years.
Tonight I'm meeting up with the Tazmanian for a free meal at a local restaurant. The meal comes with staying at the hostel I'm at. I expect the food to be absolutely revolting.
Off to the rainforest tomorrow!