Global: Session 2 - Billabong - Australia
Posted: Sun, Jul 28, 2013
Dives and Notecards
Location: Great Barrier Reef and Cairns, Australia
Today was sadly our last day out on the reef. Although we were all sad to leave, we still had three more dives to look forward to. Our day started off as a regular routine day; waking up at 7:00 to a nice breakfast of eggs, toast, and fruit. After this, we had a short briefing about our first dive in the Coral Gardens. This was one of the group’s favorite dives as we swam with sea-turtles, pet enormous grouper fish and studied the bright neon corals and starfish. We had two more dives where we saw equally as good sea creatures such as Nemo fish, giant clams, and sharks. The only bad part about these dives was that the current was extremely strong and it was hard to move forward for the snorkelers. After finishing off our dives we boarded the same boat that we took to the Great Barrier Reef for a two hour boat ride back to Cairns. On the boat we either slept or got soaked by the waves on the back deck. Once we arrived back to Cairns, we headed to the Motel for pizza dinner and a Lifeworks Forum. During our meeting we wrote notes to one another about what we liked about them and about the good times we had together. It was a great day,but we went to bed unprepared for our final day in Australia. At least we’re looking forward to white water rafting tomorrow even though it’s our last day….bittersweet.
Posted: Sat, Jul 27, 2013
Birthday, Birthday, Birthday
Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia
I don’t think there’s any place better to spend your 15th Birthday than with ActionQuest on the Great Barrier Reef. We did have to wake up at 6:50, but we also did get to go on a dive, many dives actually; it definitely evens out. We woke up to the smell of bacon and it was soooo good, fueling up for a full, full day. To kick it all off, the first of the five dives we did today saw Derek get his PADI Open Water Scuba certificate, a very sleepy turtle, and a couple of stingrays hiding up to their eyes in the sand. This was immediately followed by a second dive and a very yummy lunch. Two dives and a mimic octopus spotting later, it was time for dinner and a gorgeous sunset. After stuffing ourselves on risotto, we suited up for out last night dive! Once again we entered the pitch black ocean and were surrounded by the masses of fish and reef sharks. I’ve decided that night dives are my favorite. Nothing else matches the sense of calm silence that you encounter on a night dive. After showering, it was cake time! As I write this, the empty cake pan sits in front of me; the sure sign of a great cake and the perfect end to a wonderful day!
Posted: Fri, Jul 26, 2013
Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Today was all about scuba diving! We woke up early and were picked up by Deep Sea Divers Den Dive shop where we were given our boarding passes and set sail. Battling with sea sickness and the overwhelming wish to take a nap (due to our seasickness tablets!) we arrived at our first dive. Bursting with excitement, we donned our wetsuits (or snorkel gear) and jumped into the bright blue water. We saw Spanish dancer slugs, Christmas tree worms, clownfish and a giant maori wrasse! We got out and headed to our next dive site where we saw turtles and had our photos taken underwater. We got out and snacked on sandwiches while we moved to our next stop, the Playgrounds, where we boarded onto our overnight boat and had some tasty cupcakes. After a dive briefing we put on out wetsuits once again and jumped in and were amazed by the brilliantly colored corals and huge fish swimming past us on all sides. We got out of the water and had a fantastic dinner of steak potatoes and salad before getting in the water once again for our final dive of the day, a night dive. A few of us dared to enter the water and we were surrounded in pitch blackness, only being able to see with our underwater flashlights as sharks and huge trevally passed by hunting for dinner (and thankfully they don’t like the taste of human!). We can’t wait to go diving again tomorrow!
Posted: Thu, Jul 25, 2013
Boomerang Tosses and Spear Throws
Location: Cairns, Australia
After a lazy start 7:30 start this morning , we dragged ourselves out of the motel and onto a bus. We were taken to the Tjabuki Aboriginal Reserve where we were entertained by a variety of performances ranging from music to dance to storytelling to throwing spears and boomerangs. We were lucky enough to get a turn throwing the boomerangs too! After some serious boomerang and spear throwing, we caught a bus back into town for some lunch followed by sunbathing and shopping. We then enthusiastically souvenir shopped in various venues around Cairns. We had a quick dinner and headed up to a Reef Teach. Once again we were entertained by a very engaging performer, this time a marine biologist teaching us about what we should expect to see on the Great Barrier Reef tomorrow! Our night concluded with packing our bags we’ll be living out of for the next few days. Diving tomorrow!!!!!
Posted: Wed, Jul 24, 2013
Cold Showers to Hot Showers
Location: Daintree to Cairns, Australia
Today we left the Bat House and went to the Cairns Garden motel which is actually super GREAT because we have warm showers and clean beds, unlike the Bat House. We left at 11 for our 2 hour drive back to Cairns and got to stop on the way and get some Aussie burgers with “the lot.” (The lot is when they throw everything on a burger…including an egg!). After getting to Cairns and having some time at the motel to take a hot shower, we went to this Asian market place to do some souvenir shopping and eat some Asian food. It was a bit of a MSG Asian food education. After that we went back to the motel and then we crashed.