After the International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences in Melbourne, my friend Phil Howson and I went diving in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns. The trip was truly amazing. During this time, I did 10 dives, 5 of them to train for advanced open-water conditions – diving to 30 meters (100 ft).
The conditions were absolutely amazing, as you can see from the boat shots from the professional photographer (these are all Tilly’s shots, I saw similar things, but I do not have either the gear nor the eye to take shots like this!)
My friend Phil and I had a lot of fun, above and below water.
And the reef was amazing.
And that was just the coral. I most definitely found Nemo. Often. More often than Tilly photographed them.
And I might have encountered a couple of elder things. Tilly even got a shot with the face-hugger look. For me, the cuttlefish was always closed like photo 1 and 2.
I saw lots of little fish like these.
And crazy schools of fish – some even more impressive than these.
I cannot count the number of times I saw scenes like this, but with much wider views and more variety of fish.
I saw rays quite often.
And I played light with heaps of these little doggies of the sea. If you ever told me I’d ever play light with a shark, I’d have called you barking mad! I clearly have no actual sense! (Sharks tend to like the light as they use it to catch fish, but other fish such as fusiliers are super-keen on using your light and they will surround you like crazy!)
I swam with these turtles, but I did NOT see the one eating the jellyfish. That my buddy saw, and of course Tilly taking the photos.
And I even have some proof of swimming with the turtles.
I also enjoyed the slower creatures. Giant clams!
Unfortunately, I did not see the moray pictured here. Tilly got great shots though!
And I never saw a starfish on the trip either, though we do have shots from Tilly.
But, I did see these guys:
This trip was truly amazing. It really does look like this under the ocean at the Great Barrier Reef, and even more amazing than this. My first night-dive was a kaleidoscopic fever-dream better than my wildest imaginings. I cannot recommend diving enough.
EDIT: I now have a photo of my deep dive to 30M during dive training. The depths are an eerie place, where cracked eggs stay intact, and red tomatoes look green. They are worth a quick and carefully planned visit. Running out of air is EASY. On my training my instructors deliberately shared air with me, and I deliberately used the back-up bottle at 5M depth, as skill practice.