Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard…

Ryan and I went on a three day liveaboard dive cruise with Pro Dive Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef.  This part of our trip was one of the things I was most looking forward to out of our whole trip.  Ryan and I had done several dives before but this trip included a few firsts for us. First, we’ve never been on a liveaboard (where you sleep on the boat). We have a few other dive friends that have done nothing but rave about liveaboards. We figured if we were ever going to do one, doing one on the Great Barrier Reef would be ideal and allow us to get to the outer reef.  Second, we’ve never been diving without a guide. All of our dives have been guided and typically in groups of 4 or 6.  At first Ryan and I were nervous about diving on our own. Once we did one run by ourselves we found it easy and more enjoyable than being with a group. We were able to explore more and take our time in certain areas  of interest. I was able to take as many photographs as I wanted without our guide having to wait on me!  Before each dive the Dive Master would brief us on the reef and give us heading out and return compass coordinates.  This meant that we had to be pretty good at using a compass. Let’s just say that my compass skills have improved dramatically. The third first on this trip for us was a night dive. I’ve always been intrigued with night diving but also very hesitant. We did two night dives on our cruise. Both were so much fun. There’s an eerie yet peaceful feeling to the water at night. Some creatures are getting ready for bed, while other creatures are now coming alive.  I thought for our night dives we would be given a torch with a wide scope that would light up everything in front of us. Instead, we were handed what looked like basic flash lights with a very narrow beam.  It made the dive more interesting because it was kind of like playing hide and seek with the fish. Ryan was pretty good at spotting sleeping turtles. One night the crew were feeding white tipped reef sharks when our Dive Master yelled for us to get suited up for our night dive. I thought “you’ve got to be kidding me!”  I wasn’t very keen on jumping in the water after seeing eight or ten sharks surrounding our boat. We were assured we were safe and that these particular sharks were harmless, in fact, they didn’t like our bubbles.  He told us if we were scared to just exhale a lot and they would leave us alone.  He was right.  I think at first I was exhaling too much – I wanted the sharks to come closer so I could have a good look. By the end of our dive I found myself exhaling slower during our safety stop to see if they would come closer. They did and they were beautiful to watch.

I’ll post some photos and videos from the trip a bit later, but will leave you with one of my favorites. Can you guess what I spotted out in the deep ocean before it swims closer?

Jessica Rayborn - Yes, you should get certified. You guys would have a lot of fun diving.

Matt Yung - NO FAIR! Melissa and I would so love to do that. It sounds amazing. We plan to get certified by next summer.

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