The last few days totally did NOT happen!

The Fish Bowl - Great Barrier Reef ~ 08 July 2008

The Fish Bowl - Great Barrier Reef ~ 08 July 2008

And so I’m back. I know, ALREADY! Yanked right out of the breezy sunny bliss in Cairns and whacked right back into the bone-chilling freeze in Melbourne. Brr… Is it any wonder that I’m suffering from the worst case of post-holiday depression ever? Aiyoh!

So how was it, people ask? Aww man, can I find a word good enough for it? SMASHING!!! Here’s me thinking everyone should visit the Great Barrier Reef at least once in their life. ( And I’ll be back before you know it. I absolutely will!) Then add Queensland’s tropical rainforest to the list too. Well I’m not gonna ramble much, I’m no Lonely Planet guide you see. Just a quick recap, here’s what I did:

~ stayed at this airy spacey motel called The Bellview, located right on The Esplanade on the water edge, that provided such a fantastic customer service it made our stay a lot more enjoyable

~ went on a 2-day live-aboard cruise with Cairns Dive Centre, which also had a wonderfully fun & friendly crew

~ got extremely seasick on the boat out to the Reef and threw up TWICE. In my defense, it was a terrible day on the ocean, with winds up to 100 knots! 7 other people also got really busy saying bye-bye to their breakfast, including 2 strong guys. And I had only 3 hours of sleep the night before. (Was at The Woolshed, where everyone danced on tables. Ask no further.) I still felt like such a wussie though, especially after some snorkeling and the first diving session when I almost collapsed on the deck.

~ had to take ginger seasick tablets for 2 days

~ slept in a teeny weeny cabin on the Kangaroo Explorer

~ loved the warmth of a wetsuit, especially when the water’s “only” at 20 degrees.

~ had a total blast snorkeling and scuba diving (at 6 – 10m depth) despite the incessant seasickness

~ swam after a white-tip shark, scratched a sea turtle’s back, played underwater volleyball with a sea cucumber, touched coral, saw Nemo’s / lion fish / bumphead parrotfish, etc. etc. The colours down there are just beyond words. An abundance you have to see to believe.

~ had a great time at the Daintree rainforest, saw a casowary, fed kangaroos, got within 2 metres of a 4-metre battle-scarred toothless crocodile (I was on a boat so not like I’m gonna get a bravery medal any time soon. hehe)

~ had buffy twig-like hair due to the humidity & constant dipping in the ocean

~ walked around too much

~ got a little tanned

Then there were a few other trivial things — like checking out the botanical garden, or partying to the wee hours in the morning, or stuffing myself with too much seafood — that I’ll refrain from bothering you with.


Mossman Gorge - Cairns - 10 July 2008

Oh, and some tips I got out of the trip are:

~ To stop your goggles from fogging up, before you put them on, spit in the inside, rub around a bit, then rinse with water. Yes, sounds a bit gross doesn’t it? But works like a charm, baby. Like a charm. Can’t believe no one told me that before. Would have saved myself hours at the pool trying to rinse out my goggles.

~ When scuba diving, try to NOT swallow any sea water when you’re bobbing on the surface before the dive. For some reason, this would make you feel even sicker once you dive past the 5m mark below the surface.

~ To fight seasickness on a boat that’s heading against the waves and is rocking more than 45-degrees sideway, apart from ginger tablets and trying to fix your eyes on the horizon, sitting sideway on your chair really helps! That way it’s easier to keep your upper body move as little as possible. I never thought I’d get so sick on a boat. But there you go!

That’s it for now, folks. More to follow later, and some photos once I get around to it. Also in a few weeks, the lovely guys at CDC will send me the video of us under water. I simply can’t wait! Will see if I can Youtube a section for y’all too squiz. Stay tuned.

Back to work tomolo. Aiyoh some more!

~“And I tread a troubled track, my odds are stacked…”~


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