Any remaining grumpiness from the previous day and early start soon dissipated with the spectacular views as the bus made its way along the beautiful coast road to Port Douglas. Once there the marina was our first stop and I was soon in my element once more barefoot on a boat heading away from land. The boat was Poseidon and the food and crew were great however I did find it awful crowded which was odd because whilst there were more people than there had been on the sail boats I had been on it was also a much bigger boat with more space per person. I think I’m just a small boat person, which considering my dislike of large groups isn’t actually that surprising. One advantage f a new big boat is it’s speed. Poseidon got us to our first location in record time and we barely had time for the usually safety talk, form filling and dive briefing before we were suiting up and preparing to get in to the water. I did have one scary moment where my temporary card was questioned. My actual card was sent to the UK but my temporary card was only valid for 90 days. When I went out on Poseidon it had been almost three month and I was still within the 90 days however the crew were unsure about accepting it as there is no photo to prove it is me. Thankfully because I had learned in Cairns they were familiar with the company I learnt with and a few questions satisfied them that I was one of the many who came for a visit and ended up staying.
As with previous trips I found myself getting nervous as we approached the first dive site. It had been over a month since I had last been out and I had completed less than 20 dives. I was still a newbie! What if I forgot everything? Of course I didn’t and the crew ere obviously used to this as they reassured me that as soon as I was in the water I’d forget all that and of course they were right. As soon as I was in the waster my worries started to fade as the wonder f the reef took over. There were some nerves as we descended but our guide kept and eye on us and soon my confidence returned as I discovered that I did indeed remember how to dive. Despite the length of time between dives I felt that even my first dive that day was an improvement on my previous ones. The site was beautiful and I was soon snapping away with my underwater camera which I had thankfully remembered to borrow from the hostel the previous night despite the busy evening. Too soon it was time to leave the water and as we emerged I experienced and unfamiliar feeling, I was cold! I secured my tank and removed the first stage as quickly as possible so my air could be refilled then headed straight to the deck for some sunshine. Imagine my delight on discovering there were muffins and biscuits up there too! As many of us enjoyed the sunshine one of the crew appeared with some laminated enlarged photos and started telling us about the reef and the creatures who call it home, sadly before she was done it was time to gear up again. My disappointment at missing her talk was short lived though as the excitement of seeing the reef surfaced again. Getting all the gear on is never fun, the tanks are heavy, the fins are awkward to walk in and half the time I forget to unhook my tank thus anchoring myself to the deck but it’s always worth it the minute I’m in the water.