Jacques Costeau

We spent a long time deciding which diving boat to take to the reef, and settled on Reef Experience. It appears that each diving company calls dibs on certain reef spots, and some of them better than others. Also, the further north you go, the prettier the reef becomes. We didn’t go too far north and, in addition, all this rain clouded up the water and it was a bit murky.
My fist dive started with me successfully descending down a rope, I let go off the rope and within several minutes found myself back on the surface. The dive master tried to push me back down, but then he and I hit a riptide, and I had to be airlifted, well boat lifted, back to the ship. I went snorkeling instead. Though this part of the reef was pretty, it was not as magnificent as the one we saw the day before yesterday. The first reef was a coral jungle, with no patches of land in between, in fluorescent colors. Here, there were patches of beautiful corals, tropical fish, bright colors, but not quite as dense. Plus visibility was good-to-very good, but not excellent.
After lunch, I attempted another dive. This time I succeeded, but the dive master had to hold me down, because my body kept trying to float back to the surface double weight belt they outfitted me with notwithstanding.
But I managed to stay under and was rewarded with holding a sea cucumber and feeding a sea turtle.
But I must say, had I seen this part of the reef the first time, I probably would not go diving That first reef was like going from Kansas to Oz! Also, I don’t think that there was more to see diving than snorkeling. The most beautiful corals are in the shallow water and are perfectly visible from the surface.
When I got out of the water, the afternoon monsoon just started. When we arrived back in Cairns, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and we went for a walk on the seaside promenade, the esplanade.
This promenade was first class, with beautiful landscaping, palm trees, magnolias, cafes and ice-cream shops. But rain returned with a vengeance and we went back to the hotel soaked once again.
We spent three nice days here, but I would’ve liked to stay longer. There are several national parks here, an aboriginal center (and I am a fan now), and better diving up north.
And don’t come to the Great Barrier Reef during the wet season!


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