Two Savages in Southeast Asia

Diving In

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Wet serenity,
Hovering twixt fishes’ homes,
It’s a 3D world.

We’ve drawn to the end of our liveaboard scuba adventure. Now that we’re back on land in a Cairns hostel, we can still feel the rhythm of the sea coaxing us into drunk-like stumbles.

This morning, to complement the night dive, we did an early morning, 06:30 dive. It was a gorgeous time to go out, with the light just piercing the slightly sedimenty sea to the bottom, the night animals slowly going to sleep, and the day animals slowly waking up. We briefly followed a group of three other girls from our open water class, passing a huge and alien-looking Moray Eel and a flock of lazy bumphead parrot fish. If you’re planning to head to the area yourself for diving, we’ve been rigorous about keeping up our dive logs. We’ve also kicked around the idea of putting them online as part of this blog, so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

During the rest of our morning dive, we floated past gorgeous Moorish Idols and humorous flatworms. I saw one swimming along, and if you can imagine a flat oval rippling its edges to swim, that was pretty much what it was doing. I don’t have internet right now, or I’d try to find you a Youtube video. We weren’t allowed to take underwater cameras out on our training dives, and renting them for the other dives was quite expensive, so we didn’t… someday soon we’ll get a cable for our camera (which is supposedly waterproof to 10m) and bring that along for a swim.

We sat out the next dive, Evan to nap and me to give my eardrums a rest. Equalizing them every few meters on the way down does seem to tire them out! Anyway, we wanted to be nice and fresh for the final dive.

And it was a good thing we were. It seemed that the reef opened up to show us everything that we had wished to see on that last run-through. We finally saw a reef shark, we saw a few stingrays (none of them speared us in the heart, fortunately), we saw the awesomely-coloured orange-lined triggerfish, little sea stars, male and female bird wrasses, nudibranchs, flatworms, Christmas tree worms… it was an amazing dive.

After stuffing our faces with delicious ship food for a final time, we both napped slightly on the ride home to Cairns. We passed by a great ship in the harbor, which we were told belongs to Steve Ballmer, cost $300 million, and is the 3rd largest private passenger vessel in the world. Apparently he loves diving, but the locals who were asked to brief him on the reef weren’t allowed up past the servants’ decks on the boat when they came.

We brought our tired, smelly selves into a hostel downtown, and we promptly stripped down to nothing and did laundry. I lounged around in a sheet from one of our beds. Evan wore a pair of boxers and an Indonesian dress shirt. As classy as we looked, we agreed that we would try not to let our dirty laundry get so out of control in the future. A good shower later, we felt like humans again, and we went out with the ProDive crew and the other students for a farewell/welcome-back dinner at a bar in Cairns called The Courthouse. We discovered that all beer from Australia is pretty much crap (even the bartender tried to convince us of this as we ordered it), but that they make pretty awesome meat pies and curries.

Then, at the pitiful hour of 9:30, it was time for us to go to bed. So we sign off.

Learn Aussie:

  • slot machines => pokies
  • small glass (300ml) => pot
  • glass (~1 pint) => schooner
  • pitcher => jug