Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Great Barrier Reef

We woke up at 5:45 to get ready for an incredible adventure (not a small feat for those of you who know how we like to sleep). We drove about an hour along the coast (really beautiful) to Port Douglas. There we got on a fast boat (sort of yacht-looking)where they had breakfast for us and made us sign papers saying we knew that snorkeling and scuba diving were dangerous, yadda, yadda... We rode out to the reef, which was about an hour ride where they gave us, who hadn't scuba dove/dived before a lesson on how to scuba. Actually, it was also a video on all the bad things that could happen like lungs popping, running out of air etc. They told us that the most important thing was not to hold your breath underwater, just to kep breathing slowly. Since when does breathing become so complicated?? (Oh, right when you're underwater for 40 minutes) So the ride itself was pretty bumpy and Derek (for those of you that have heard about our not-so-fun cruise experience) wasn't feeling top notch anymore, but we had taken some anti-nausea pills, so it wasn't too bad. We got suited up and weighed around 150lbs more with the tank and the weights around our waist. They put weights around your waist so you don't float to the surface, which I kept doing anyway. We went under and practiced switching to our secondary air supply and clearing our masks. We went under the water and looked at all the coral. The coolest part was seeing an anenome and seeing the little clown fish (like Nemo) less than 12 inches in front of us. Ok, so I have to be honest with you, I really hated the diving part. My mask kept filling up with water because I didn't have it positioned right and there were several times where all I could think about was "breathe, breathe". My eyes were stinging with saltwater and the instructor kept having to come and get me as I tried to clear my mask and was floating to the surface. My air regulator came out of my mouth (which then you have to blow small bubbles out of your mouth so there isn't as much pressure on your lungs). Anyway, I was super glad when it was all done. I would try it again, but only after lesssons and becoming certified. **Aside: I wasn't sure how much detail to put here, but basically the rest of the day for Derek went like this: Derek was sick, threw up over the side of the boat, went snorkeling for 15 minutes at my request, and slept for most of the rest of the day inside the boat. (this is a sea cucumber, they breathe out of their butts) I went snorkeling at the next 2 locations, which were absolutely beautiful. I resolved my facemask issues and took pics and videos with an underwater camera we rented, and enjoyed the rest of the day, and was thrilled that I didn't get stung by a jellyfish (this is the beginning of the jellyfish season). We had been snorkeling in the Bahahas, and I thought it was cool, but not amazing. It was so amazing at the Great Barrier Reef. I am so glad we went to the reef (and Derek is almost glad we did too)

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