Location: Great Barrier Reef
Today has been one of the longest days of this trip, at least it’s sure felt like it! We were awoken at a sharp 5:00 am to our typical breakfast of cereal and sandwiches and ate quickly before preparing for our bus ride to the dock. Today, we made the trip to our vessel that we would live on for the next three days and two nights, the ScubaPro III. We arrived at the dock around 7:00 am ready for our live-aboard journey. We lugged our bags onto the boat and got going for our 3-hour long voyage to the reef, all of us feeling excited about the dives ahead. While underway, many of us, including myself, took naps and got some extra rest before our first dive at 11:00. For the most part, we all woke up at 10:15 ready to get in the water. We briefed for the dive at 10:30 and planned our compass heading. After our overview of the dive, we got our wetsuits and gear on and finally hopped in the water. Most of us hadn’t been diving for a while, so we had to get used to our equipment again. Once we got in the water, though, it felt alright. Most of us followed an instructor for the first dive because we were a little rusty on our navigation. We saw tons of cool fish, turtles, and some of us even saw sharks! We surfaced from the dive and had a long break before the next one, so once again, some of us chose to take a nap, including myself.
Dive number 2 was at 2:30, so we briefed at 2:00 and got ready. While some of us slept, we had moved a bit to another dive site. For this dive, the navigation was pretty challenging, and my partner and I surfaced a little far away from the boat, but it was still a great dive because we got to see even more cool fish including a couple of stingrays. The next dive was at 4:30, so we only had about an hour and a half before the next dive. Many of us decided to skip this dive, but those who didn’t saw turtles and lots of cool coral. Then, at 7:45, we embarked on our first-night dive. This was a lot of people’s first dive at night, so it was pretty nerve-racking for some of us. The landscape was completely different from our earlier underwater expeditions, there was barely any fish swimming, and it was obviously very dark. We didn’t see any sharks, but we did see a lot of big silver fish called pompano and some large, toothy red fish called red bass. These fish hunt at night and they use the light of our flashlights for hunting smaller fish, so if you shine your light on a small fish for a long time, red bass or pompano would swoop in and eat it. It was really fun to feed these bigger fish, but we knew we couldn’t feed them too much. After that, we all surfaced and rinsed off in fresh water. By the time we had all showered, we felt exhausted, and most just went straight to bed in our cabins. Another end to a beautiful day down under, and this time, literally!