Well, I guess the holiday officially starts the day you leave/move out of your house, so lets start there. We donned our flip flops for our first flight to Cairns, sunny Queensland Australia. Don’t believe the advertising friends, I can officially say that Queensland is cloudy 99% of the time. It is, however, a comfortable 28 degrees, perfect for shorts and t-shirts, even when it’s raining.
Now it just so happened to be my birthday while we were here, so we went to the best restaurant in town (as voted by us after 2 days in town). The food was rather tasty, as was the wine, but the little surprise was the desert; a platter of chocolate and cakes and other things delicious, with one little candle burning for me. You would think that after being on this planet for 30 years and having been through the routine regularly before, that blowing out one little candle would be quite simple, but something went horribly wrong. No, it was not one of those trick candles. It was simply a malfunction of bodily control. After listening to the song being sung and a little ‘Hooray!’ and a clap, I leant forward to extinguish the flame with a short burst of air. But somehow, the air was accidentally expelled through my nose instead of mouth. This wouldn’t normally be too much of problem, but after spending significant time in the pool for 2 days I was quite blocked up, and a little shower rained down toward the cake. Luckily, it all landed short and the cake remained in tact and edible. After a second attempt and some mopping up all was ok.
So the main reason for visiting Cairns was of course to see the Great Barrier Reef. I have only done a couple of dives before, but as I sit here typing I’m floating on a live aboard boat just metres from the reef with my open water ticket after 4 days of theory and skills training. This skills training really was quite intense, including wearing sunglasses and drinking beer under water, flip flopping along the bottom of the ocean, and chasing a turtle. This can all be seen on the video (coming soon). Watching the turtle take off after he had enough of us was incredible. It seemed faster than a bird taking off from land.
Tomorrow I take my advanced course and have some more fun exploring the under water world. Hopefully an encounter with a shark or some dolphins. For anyone who has never tried scuba, I highly recommend it. It’s an amazing place with all of these strange creatures living in some sort of harmony. By far the strangest animal is all of the coral. It’s hard to fathom that it is actually an animal and not just a pile of pretty rocks……
…..Well, the dive trip is now complete. Between the two of us we have seen sharks, stingrays, cuttlefish, turtles turtles turtles, octopus, jellyfish (deadly apparently), dragonfish (also deadly), nemo, giant clams, sea cucumbers, barracuda, thousands of other cool fishies and a couple of new drinking games, coming soon to a party near you.