The Australia Journals: June 21, 2010

The boat I stayed on while SCUBA diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

For background on this series of blogs, see this intro post.


This was definitely one of my favorite days during my study abroad trip. Over the course of the semester I was looking into getting a SCUBA dive trip booked, and I think there were a few times where it didn’t look like it was going to work out. Eventually, though, it worked out so that I could do the trip between my last final exam and leaving to go back to the U.S. I had never done SCUBA diving before, but I figured it would be a really cool experience, so I wanted to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. Even though I sound a little disappointed in the journal entry below, looking back on it now, it was a fantastic experience. Really the only downside was that, over the 4 day dive course, I only got in two “stress free, fun” dives. Everything else was more stressful since it was aimed at training. Had I been able to get in another day or two on the reef to get in more “fun” dives, it probably would have been a lot better. Regardless, it was a super cool experience, and one heck of a way to finish out the study abroad experience. I’ll have one final blog in a few days to wrap up this series.

The Journal Entry

Today was a decent day. I didn’t sleep too well last night. It seemed like I would wake up about every hour. We had to get up at 6 for our first dive, which was at about 6:30. That one was ok. We all messed up one of our skills, which didn’t make Peter, our instructor, too happy. In addition, he told us not to go deeper than 18m, and three people did, so they had to eat vegemite. We only had a short break until our second dive of the day. During that break we had breakfast. Our second dive was at about 8. It was our video dive. I liked that dive so much more, since it wasn’t really about testing us. It was more of a dive for fun. That was nice. They just have a videographer on the boat that goes out on a dive with each group. That’s really cool. After that dive we had a little longer break. I had to eat vegemite during that break since I forgot to strap my tank down after taking it off. I can honestly say I think that’s one of the worst, if not the worst, things I have ever tasted. It was absolutely horrible. It just makes me feel sick thinking about it. Anyway, the boat moved during that break. We had our last dive at around 11. Our instructor didn’t go with us on this dive. It was just our own dive. I was a buddy with Nick. That was really cool to be able to do that. It took so much pressure and paranoia away and made the dive so much more enjoyable. After that dive we got all our gear torn down and put away and then had lunch. After lunch our group went to watch the video. It was pretty sweet. It was sooo expensive though. It was $75. I still got it though because I didn’t really have any other way of showing people what it was like. That was frustrating. After the movie we just hung out until Sunkist showed up. We got on there and it brought us back to Cairns. We got on there at about 2:20. We got back to Cairns at about 4:30. It was a pretty rough ride once again. I got sick, but not to the point of throwing up. It was so nice to be back on land. A van took us to the CDC, and then I just walked from there back to the hostel. After I got back I visited with a new guy in our room. He just finished a dive course with Pro-dive. That was cool visiting with him. I got all my stuff put up, brushed my teeth, and then got a shower. It was so nice to get a warm shower. I felt so nasty. After my shower I ate dinner and checked email and stuff. After that I went and checked out the night markets. Those weren’t anything too impressive. There was one aisle where one person after another asked me if I wanted a massage. It was so annoying. After I was finished there I started back to the hostel. I stopped by a convenience store to get a drink, and then came back to the hostel. When I got back to my room I started writing this. Overall the diving trip was pretty awesome. It wasn’t quite as awesome as I was expecting though. There’s just so many things you have to worry about and you can’t be down very long. Other than that, it was really cool seeing the barrier reef. It’s only 8:40 right now, but I am totally exhausted, so I’ll probably end up getting to bed pretty soon. Hopefully tomorrow I feel good enough to do all the walking I want to. It could be fun trying to get to sleep tonight since I still feel like I’m on the boat.