Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fun at the Falls

After my chilled out day at Kuranda I was looking forward to a more active day with the Uncle Brians tour of the Atherton table lands. As I got on the bus I was slightly apprehensive as I was last on and the only seat available was between two guys at the front, but hey, at least I had a good view of where we were going. From the start our guide was on good form. He started by pointing out the electricity ‘trees’ and introducing us to Gus the bus. There was much silliness as we drove to our first destination for another wander through a different part of the rainforest. Our guide was still on good form but a bit more informative as he told us about the different trees and spiders. We stopped at some lookouts to see Devils Pools where the rock formations make the river deadly as many people who have tried top to swim there have been pulled under the rocks by the currents and drowned. Due to this we did not go for a swim but contented ourselves admiring the river from afar and taking photos.

Soon we were back on the bus for more waving at the road workers and interesting ‘facts’. Since I was at the front of the bus and it seemed like the right kind of company I asked to put Zack up beside Elmo who had been waving at the road workers with us that morning. Before long though we were stopping for morning tea and our first swim of the day in some very fresh water. The river was quite shallow and slow running at this point but the coolness of the water was sure to wake up anyone. After our swim it was time for morning tea of cake and juice and I knew that this was definitely the tour for me!

Our next stop was Josephine Falls where we slid down the natural rock slide into the water below. It wasn’t far from the top to the bottom of the slide but it was fun enough to make the climb up worth it again and again until we were called out of the water so we could make out way to lunch. The scenery was still amazing though there more fields than forests for a change and our two courses were a main and desert, I was definitely seeing a pleasing pattern by this point. As we let our lunch settle we were regaled with the love triangle between Gus the bus, his girlfriend and his admirer. The day was only halfway through but I had already laughed more than I had in who knows how many weeks if not months. After being informed of the love triangle we all piled back on the Gus the bus and headed to Milla Milla Falls a.k.a The place where Peter Andre recorded the video for mysterious girl or the place where the herbal essences adverts were shot. Thankfully no-one attempted to recreate Peter Andre’s video but we all had a go at the flicking our hair out of the water a la herbal essence advert. Our tour guide turned photographer was very encouraging and had us try it alone, in pairs and even in groups. No-one was exempt; in fact some of the guys were getting scarily good at it by the end of our time there. I did take a swim under the falls and got a free back massage as the water, having fallen from a great height, hit my back with some force. It felt surprisingly good though I wouldn’t want to spend a long time under the fall itself. The pool at the bottom of the falls was deep enough for some swimming but mostly we lined up to get our photos taken.  There was no cake here, instead once on the bus our guide asked if we had brought any chocolate, none of us had and he also forgot but thankfully Gus the bus saved the day and shared his with us.

Our final swimming stop for the day was at Lake Eacham, a volcanic crater lake and our warmest swimming spot of the day. As well as more swimming we also took a short walk around the lake to look for some turtles. No matter how many times I see turtles, big or small I still love to go look for them. Therefore I was delighted to spot a few swimming near the look out once I got there. Surprisingly after our final swim there was, yes you guessed it, more cake! This time it was accompanied by hot chocolate and marshmallows. It would have been the perfect end to a fabulous day out but there was one more stop to make before we headed home.

We stopped at a dam for some platypus spotting. There was another group already there and the two guides went in opposite directions to see if they could spot one for us. While they went searching we waited at the lookout and before too long we saw one. In fact we saw him a few times as he took a swim around. I got a few blurry photos with my powershot but it was no match for my SLR. It was the first time I really missed my good camera but it wasn’t enough to ruin my joy at finally seeing a wild platypus!! Then it really was time to head back to Cairns. On the way there was singing and dancing on the bus and much more silliness. I went back into the hostel grinning like an idiot, I am sure I threw myself in to the day with more enthusiasm than anyone expected but it was worth it. I enjoyed every second of my day round the tablelands despite my adrenalin/sugar high I did manage to calm down enough to get a decent night sleep for my next adventure, a trip to see where the rainforest really meets the reef.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Land Ho!

After three days on the water I had well and truly found my sea legs which meant that as soon as I stepped on to dry land, it moved. We were reliably (?) informed that the best cure for this would be to ingest alcohol as the swaying effects would cancel each other out. As sceptical as I was I felt it would be bad form to disagree with the experts so duly agreed with new diving friends that we would all meet up later that night to put it to the test.

I returned to my hostel where I was upgraded from a six bed to a three bed dorm. I was a little unsure about this but was delighted to discover that not only were my two new roomies female, one was in Cairns to complete her dive course with the same company I had just been out with.  I would loved to have stayed to talk to her but I had to head out before the shops closed as I had to buy a new camera. My SLR was definitely on the blink and I had been without a camera before and regretted it. I headed to a couple of shops but since I had been planning on buying a point and click for a while I pretty much knew what I wanted, a canon powershot which I could buy a waterproof case for at some future date. Well if I’m going to love diving as much as I love photography I might as well combine them. I was very good here as I did not buy the more expensive one but settled on the one that did just what I wanted and no more, after all I was planning on getting my SLR fixed for any serious photography I wanted to attempt.

Back at the hostel I plugged in the camera battery then it was time for a shower and some serious getting ready. Ok I threw on some decent clothes put on some eye make-up and found some jewellery but it was the most effort I had made since arriving in Cairns. Once I met up with my newly certified dive friends I discovered they were planning on eating at the bar, since I had already eaten some sushi I felt it would be rude not to make an effort and duly ordered some desert. I had known these people for almost a week so lets just say they were not very surprised. Post desert it was time for beer, Jack Daniels and dancing. It was a really good fun night out and the perfect end to what had been a great week.

 After all that excitement you’d think that I would be looking forward to a day in bed but nope, at 6:30am I was awake and though I was slightly hungover I decided that I would head up to Kuranda  where there are daily markets. My new roommate agreed to come along so we headed to the bus station and within hours were having an early lunch in the rainforest. Kuranda is an interesting place; they have a koala park, a bird aviary and a butterfly sanctuary but we contented ourselves with a look around the market shops. Despite a number of platypus themed items I was very good and didn’t spend any money but enjoyed the variety and made a mental note to head back before I left Cairns. By this point I had decided I quite liked the Cairns and had decided to look for work so I could hang around for a while so I hoped I would have time to come back. After exploring all the market shops we headed to the skyrail. The skyrail is a series of cable cars that go from Kuranda down to Caravonica at the edge of the rainforest. As we headed down we got the most amazing views of the forest and the small shadow on our cable car on the canopy reinforced just how high up we were. We disembarked at both stations to wander along the boardwalks through the forest and stopped at the lookouts where we got a closer view of Barron Falls. Once at the Caravonica terminal at the bottom of the skyrail we discovered that the last bus back was full. However the friendly ticket officer was happy to direct us to a nearby shopping centre where we were able to get a cheaper everyday bus back to Cairns.

Back in Cairns I asked the hostel reception about staying long term on my return from my next trip and was delighted to be told there was the possibility of some housekeeping work at the hostel itself which would include staff accommodation.  Nothing was certain as the manager wasn’t back before I left but it was good to know that staying might be easier than I had thought. It had been a good day with my newest friend but we were both tired and decided on an early night as we were leaving early the next day to go on different adventures. She was off diving which might have made me envious except I was booked on to the Uncle Brian’s tour of the Atherton Tablelands. I had been promised silly fun, cake and lots of water of a different kind, I couldn’t wait!

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Deep Blue Sea and Me

Our final morning on the sea and I woke up at 5:30am. As much as I love to sleep once awake I find it very difficult to stay in bed unless I have a book. I did not have a book, well I had my dive books but I didn’t think they were really suitable early morning reading. So I got dressed as quietly as possible and headed upstairs. I grabbed a biscuit and said good morning to the on board cook but he was busy and I prefer to wake up before I attempt conversation in the mornings so I continued on up to the deck. Here I struck gold, I had the place to myself and the dawn light was producing some beautiful colours on the horizon which I sat and watched until the sun rose. A few people came and went and then as the sun finally appeared above the horizon the whole boat started to stir, it was time for another dive.

We had a quick dive briefing explaining how we would play a game to test for nitrogen narcosis and have a look at a colour card so we could see how different colours looked that deep down. Once in the water we slowly descended until we reached our maximum depth. Here we assumed our usual places kneeling on the ocean floor whilst we used our fingers to show prove we could add up to fifteen even at that depth. One of our group had trouble but she swears it was a misunderstanding, hmmmm. Anyway I was fine and so I was happy and then it was a quick look at the colour card with and without a torch to show how bleached out red becomes that deep down. I get the science behind the deep blue n all but it was still pretty cool to see it in action so to speak. I did have a slight moment of panic as one of my ears felt a little funny during the dive. It seemed t sort itself out but as we ascended I felt a slight but definite pain in my ear. As instructed I waited until the others had ascended and then our instructor came back and we ascended very slowly. The wait and slower ascension did the trick and once on the boat all seemed fine once more. I talked to a couple of people and discovered that sometime this happens when a person does a lot of dives in a short time span, especially if their body is unused to all the pressure changes.

Post stupid o’clock morning dive it was back on the boat for breakfast where our class was reunited at ‘our’ table and just happened to be first in line for the food, for a change. Before we knew it was time for us to hit the water again. This time three of us had opted to try underwater photography and our fourth fish identification as our final adventure dive. I did listen in on the fish identification talk but I still don’t really know what I’m looking at down there apart from very pretty/ugly/interesting small/medium/large fish. That didn’t stop me taking as many photos as I could of all the fish and of the fabulous scenery. On land I love landscape photography so I wasn’t sure how I would take to underwater photography as I didn’t realise that the underwater ‘landscape’ would be so amazing. It was frustrating as it was even harder to do it justice with the camera than it is on land still that didn’t stop me from trying. Too soon it was time to return to the boat but since it was so we could get our next level of certification we didn’t mind too much, also there was the post lunch dive to look forward to! Fortunately on this dive my ears behaved themselves and any worries I had of doing damage to them disappeared.

Sadly the time had come for our final dive. I went with two of my class mates and took my camera with me. One of the other girls took the lead and we followed her around the coral gardens for the last time. We swam against the current as instructed on the way out and with it on the way back however we misjudged it slightly and overshot the boat. We attempted to swim back but the current proved too strong for us. We headed to the surface and raised our hand for a lift back. We were slightly embarrassed but less so once we discovered we weren’t the only ones who had to ask for help back. I also have to admit I quite enjoyed the tow back and even more importantly having done it once I know I would do it again if I had to which makes my much more confident about going out as a certified diver.

Back on the boat it was time for our last meal together before the ride home. On the way home we chatted, looked at all our photos and made sure that we could all find each other on facebook, after all you never know when we might next be in need a dive buddy.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Two days in a classroom and pool and 4 ocean dives and we were all certified and it was time to head out on our own. After lunch we paired up and headed up the deck to hear the dive briefing paying close attention as it would have been very embarrassing to get lost our first time out. One of the advantages of being certified was that we no longer had to disassemble and reassemble our gear. We had left it all set up after the last dive so it was a case of checking our air and getting everything on as quickly as we could so we could head in to the water.

The scenery was still fabulous but there was something special about being out on our own. Of course we did bump in to the others as we swam about. Since we were all new we were keeping pretty close to the suggested route around the reef. There was lots of checking on each other and even a quick surface check at one point to make sure we were where we thought we were but even with those we still saw the usual array of colourful fish as well as a reef shark, a trigger fish which my dive buddy spotted and warned me about and also a blue spotted ray. I wasn’t that fussed about rays before but they are growing on me. They cruise about the ocean floor taking their time and seeing what’s what, I like that. On the way back we also had a close encounter with a parrot fish. Now I know everything is magnified underwater but it was fairly big and headed straight for us, I felt like we were playing the fish version of chicken. Obviously we did not collide with the fish but it was close, I swear it was!

We were really lucky on or trip. The first dive of the day had been cut short for the certified’s so the crew organised for an extra dive to be squeezed in which mean that soon I was back in the reef this time with a different dive buddy and my camera. Once again there were lots of cool fish but the highlight of this dive was that we swam through what a short almost tunnel. It wasn’t much but it was very cool and both my buddy and I loved it so much we both declared out intention of doing some wreck diving in the future, in my case asap.

The next trip  in was different again as it was a night dive. This time we were a smaller group as three of  our class opted to do a few adventure dives. For me the lure was that once I had done them I would be allowed to dive to 30m and thus dive a wreck further down the coast. You can’t go in to this wreck but you can do you wreck adventure dive and it’s meant to be one of the top ten dives in the world so it seemed worth it since I was already out there ‘n all. We had to show that we could navigate with our compasses then it was a guided tour of the ocean at night. Apparently some people don’t like that when they look back all they see is black but I loved it. I had spoken to some certifed’s about their night dive so as per their instructions I hid my torch and waved my hand through the water and sure enough lots of little light spots appeared, bioluminescence in action, very cool!

The next morning we had another early start but instead of getting an early night I stayed up to talk to some of the other divers. I was just to hyped up to go straight to sleep. I did feel a little uncomfortable as I sat with some of my class mates who within ten minutes and all headed off to bed leaving me with people I had never spoken to. Still we were soon friendly enough and passed a pleasant half hour or so until I had finally calmed down enough that I felt it was time to head to bed and sleep.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Another Life Changing Experience

Ok that sounds a bit scary considering how this all started but this time it was in a good way and nowhere near as complete, so please stop panicking. The week that changed my life started in a boring classroom where I tried not to fall asleep as I watch videos about everything and anything that can go wrong when diving. Two days of classroom and pool activities seemed so innocuous even though I knew they were building up to the main event: scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Everyone who had been diving and told me I would love it. I have already said that I found the pool decidedly less exciting this time round but I did distantly remember the excitement of the first time I swam whilst breathing under water. However getting cold in the pool two days in a row and then struggling to find a mask that didn’t leak meant I was slightly apprehensive about how much I would really love being out in the water. Between the alternating excitement and worrying bouts I doubted I would get any sleep but I guess I had been working harder than I thought in the pool because I went to bed then before I knew it six am had arrived and it was time to check out of the hostel and head for my boat!

I met up with the rest of my class and the other passengers at the dive shop we had visited the previous day. From there we were taken to the reef terminal and our boat and home for the next two nights. Once we were on our way to the reef we were given the safety talk, shown yet another video and of course assigned our cabins and bunk mates. Having met someone who had been on the trip previously I was assured that though small the cabins weren’t as bad as she had feared. I think this is because she was certified. Our cabins were fine, they were after all only a place to sleep but I am sure they put us learners in the smallest ones and me and my bunk buddy in the smallest of all. I am sure this is karma’s retribution for being unable to pack lightly. Small as they were they were perfectly adequate for our needs. Stuff duly dumped and safety info absorbed it wasn’t too long before we were out on the reef and even from the surface it looked stunning. I don’t think I quite took in that I was looking at one of the natural wonders of the world. I was too taken by the way the rainforest surrounded the city we were leaving being and then continued all along the coast as far as I could see. It made me quite sad that after lugging it from the hostel to the shop to the boot my SLR had decided to stop working (ungrateful piece of technology!). Thankfully it was such a stunning memory I hope to hang on to it without the aid of my camera for once.

By 11am we were at our first dive site and it was time for us to suit up (not not like in How I Met Your Mother) and assemble and get on all our scuba gear for our first open water dive! We were out at the Milln Reef and the sea looked gorgeous. It was blue, clear and flat and I wanted to jump on in; which was quite fortunate as soon that was exactly what we were doing. Finally it was time to put all our pool practice to the test. We were in the open water. It was quite simply amazing. It is the most amazing thing I have ever done. We had to do a few skill tests but we did them kneeling on the sand at the bottom of the sea. It was hard not to get distracted by the fishes swimming about but somehow we managed it and skills completed we swam around the reef for a while just cruising and taking it all in. Honestly, there are no words for how amazingly amazing this was. My friends had all been right and my worries were for nought, I was hooked. To top it all off once we were back on the boat and waiting for lunch, since our divers were shorter than the certified divers, we saw a sea turtle swimming near the boat popping up for air now and then. My first sea turtle!!! I couldn’t imagine the day getting any better.

Back on the boat and it was time for lunch. Now our class happened to have adopted a table as our own which was right bedside the lunch queue which meant we got served first and were able to claim seconds as well. Can you tell that there was more than one backpacker amongst us? I think the other guest soon figured that one out too. After lunch it was time for dive number two. After our last dive we had to disassemble all our gear so we headed out before the certified divers to re-assemble and get ready and perform our buddy checks. Having decided we were all assembled correctly and that everyone had their air on it was time to get back in the water. So the second time I was in the pool it was a lot less exciting, logic says that maybe the open water would be the same, nope. It was just as amazing. I was under water and I was breathing and swimming and I wanted to stay there forever. I want to live there. I was absolutely without a doubt born the wrong species.  There were more skills tests but less than the last time. Our instructor tried to do as many as possible the first time so that this time we got more cruising about time. Oh my God, it was stunning. I love diving. I was so excited I even loved filling out my log book, working out my residual nitrogen and noting my depths and dive times. Who would have thought I would love paperwork so much? Sadly that was us for our first days diving.

The certified divers had one more day dive left so we headed out to the water with our underwater cameras and snorkel gear. Now I know this is going to be difficult to believe but I got lost. Not from the boat, it was a bit too big to lose but from my class mates. I did find them and got a few photos but nothing too exciting since having taken the camera out to have a play I had managed to put it back on the wrong setting. Photo wise our first outing together wasn’t that successful but it was till fun. However I was tired and it wasn’t as good as diving so once I lost everyone again I headed back to the boat to see what I could see from there. Once on board and in dry clothes I headed to the sundeck to discover that I had missed seeing some sea turtles and even though I waited around for a while they declined to return.

Once everyone was on board it was time for dinner where our reputation for being first in the queue was further established before we settled down for a night of chatting and checking out each others photos, annoying everyone had better photos than me, stupid camera – of course it was the cameras fault I didn’t put it back on the right setting and not at all my own stupidity. The certified divers were heading out on a night dive which we took great interest in as we were to go out on one the next night. For now though we could only look on and listen in which was fairly entertaining since their safety talk was quite amusingly given. Of course one advantage of not diving meant that we were first (surprise surprise) to get the evening treat before it was time for an early night. I was going to resist, I brushed my teeth and everything but it was apple strudel. I love apple deserts it was too much for me and a completely unfair temptation. I could only hope all the swimming would be working off at least some of those calories.

The next morning we were glad of our early night as we were up with the sun. Now it is well established by my nearest and dearest that I am not a morning person. I made this quite clear and fortunately I was not alone. The assembly and buddy checks were done without much conversation and the previous days banter was definitely missing. Once we were in the water though the time of day was irrelevant. We had moved to a different site in the reef the previous day so this was our second dive site ever and it was awesome and yes, you guessed it, amazing. I am not exaggerating or kidding. I couldn’t help but smile even though it meant I kept making my mask leak. Every time I got in the water I never wanted to leave it. Even the realisation on my first dive that Josh would have loved it (he loved snorkelling and fish) didn’t dim my enthusiasm, if anything it made it more precious. I have no idea why neither of us never thought to try scuba before. It seems insane with our mutual love of water, new things and adventure it simply never occurred to us, anyway I digress. Where was I? Oh yes dive three, location two, stupid o’clock in the morning. So laughably our skills on this dive involved navigation, fortunately they gave us a compass so not even I was able to get lost either above or below the water. Skills tested it was off for a swim. Two major events on this dive were reaching 16.9m, the deepest I had ever been, and seeing a sea turtle having its breakfast. I floated in the water and did my best to animate jumping up and down with my hands in two fists making a jumping motion. I am sure I looked completely ridiculous but it was all just too much. This was as close to heaven as I was going to get whilst still breathing.

Post dive it was time for breakfast, of course we were first, why were you even wondering? Before it was time for the most important dive yet: our qualifying dive. During breakfast we moved to yet another part of the reef but it wasn’t long before it was time to assemble our gear for the last time on this trip and then complete our buddy checks before we could hit the water.  Our final test was to hit 15.2m but not go deeper. We were warned that there would be a reward for success and punishment for failure. Being me failure was not an option and boy was I glad that I succeeded. This was my fourth dive in less than twenty four hours but the joy didn’t wear off. Every dive was as astounding as the last and the reef was just stunning. This time though the euphoria was something else, once we were back on the surface we were all qualified open water divers!!! But before we were all signed off there was the small matter of the dive test. Thankfully I hit 15.2 then stayed well above because that meant I got chocolate whereas my unfortunate fellow divers who got a little carried away by the stunning scenery and drifted below got crackers with vegemite and mustard. Sometimes it really pays to be..... pedantic, shall we say? Anyway vegemite or chocolate we were all happy as because in case you didn’t get it already, we were all certified open water divers!!!! Hells yeah!! And my life has once again changed direction, for now when I think about where I go and what I want to do there will be one question I shall always ask: How accessible will the nearest dive sites be? 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Learning to Dive

Finally it had arrived the first day of my dive course. In my previous life I was a worrier and control freak. I’m not as bad as I was but it’s part of my personality therefore before I went on the course I did read through most of the book and yes I even highlighted sections and answered the questions at the end of the chapters. I actually wouldn’t have thought of it but I stopped by the Pro-Dive shop to see what I should take with me and they gave me the manual so, well, y’know. They gave me a book, obviously I was going to read it! Part of this was the be a good student mentality that got me my degrees but mostly it was the desire to know that when I was x meters under the sea relying on my scuba gear I was as prepared as possible in the unlikely event that anything went wrong. Personally I don’t think this is a bad thing, I think it shows a healthy desire to keep breathing both below and above sea level. Cairns wasn’t a hot and humid as Broome which I suspect is due to the fact the rain arrived the day after I did. This meant that it was easier to concentrate and ‘study’ and that when I had reached the point of information overload it was nice enough to walk down to the shops and window shop. Between the window shopping and the chatting to other hostel guests it took me two days but when I got on my bus on the morning of first day of the course the I felt ready to get in the pool.

Of course most people hadn’t been given the book and collected theirs as we registered on the first morning. We then all trooped upstairs to watch a video highlighting the important parts of the first section of the book. Though reading the manual before hand was definitely a nerdy thing to do I am glad I did it. I absorb information best through the written word and though the video was a nice reminded I don’t think I would have learnt as much from it alone, and I do love to learn. After our first quiz where I did get one wrong because I always do it was time for a tea break and free biscuits. So that was the diet out the window yet again. I really am going to have to think about cancelling my weight watchers membership if I’m not going to stick to it. Anyway, tea break over and it was back in to the classroom for video number two and three and the accompanying quizzes. Then it was time for lunch and our dive medicals which I of course passed with flying colours, despite sharing a room with a sick person. Go my immune system. Then we were in the pool. Now I had done a taster scuba lesson in a pool at a Centre Parks before going to the USA back in 2010. After that course I was extremely hyped up. I had been breathing under water, it was soooooooo cool, it was amazing and I didn’t care if I was only in a pool. Yeah, the second time in a pool, not so amazing. We had a fitness test to see if we could swim a set distance without stopping and tread water for 10 minutes then it was lots of kneeling at the bottom of the pool and learning what to do when things go wrong. Yes it was interesting but towards the end I was cold and I did find the later tasks harder to manage as the cold made it difficult to do multiple things at once. I was therefore glad to get out of the pool at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong it was a great experience to be breathing under water again but the wonder of the first time was missing.

Day two of our lessons and we mixed things up. We started in the pool and tried various masks and fins then did some more tasks. This time I didn’t get as cold though I did have problems with my mask leaking slightly which was a little annoying. Once we were done in the pool we headed down to the esplanade for lunch then a trip to the dive shop where I purchased my own snorkel and mask. Apparently I have a narrow face and so need one of the smallest masks, they joy of this is that smaller means cheaper, woo! I was good and resisted the fins. They had some pretty red ones which I really wanted but I eventually convinced myself that there was no way they would fit in my luggage. Money spent and it was time to return to the class room for our last two videos lessons and final exam. Then we were done on land and ready for our three day boat trip and open water dives. I just had one more important purchase to make. No I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on some fins I had to buy a beach towel. Sadly the one I bought in Sydney when I first arrived back in 2011 was no more and I couldn’t go on a boat without one. Elmo has been replaced with a very typically Aussie tourist towel and I have to say, I love it.

Back at the hostel it was BBQ night and I ended up trying to pack and wait for my camera and the BBQ all at once. I had to wait for a camera because as amazing as my DSLR is it does not work underwater and I wanted to record my first dive trip not to mention, oh yeah, photograph the Great Barrier Reef. Typically the camera arrived as the BBQ was ready and my luggage wasn’t. Since I was really hungry I decided that I would eat before finishing my packing. We were told to take one small bag on to the boat and that we could leave our luggage at the shop but my hostel was also happy to hang on to it. This meant that I had to be packed and ready by 8pm, or so I thought. Actually since they had a fire show after the BBQ I had until 10pm which was just as well because I had to go back twice to put things in and take things out of my main luggage. Even with my main backpack packed to bursting I still had two bags and two cameras. At this point I was really glad I hadn’t bought those fins. Packing finally complete, camera batteries charged and I was good to go. All I needed to do was get a decent night’s sleep, easier said than done but somehow I eventually managed it.
Cairns CBD
The Lagoon

My Hostel
Dive Shop