We’ve just come back from a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef where we did our first scuba dive! I was a bit nervous because I’ve always had a thing about fish since a bad experience in Florida a few years ago which involved a fish getting stuck in my hair! So every time I snorkel I always get a bit panicky when the fish are too close! Seeing as we’ve come all the way to Australia we couldn’t leave without a swim on the barrier reef and we got an introductory dive free when we booked all our other trips so we had nothing to lose!
The boat out to the reef was extremely bumpy but we survived and had a briefing from an instructor who taught us all the hand signals and how to use all the equipment. I was surprised by how heavy the tank was on our backs – it was heavier than our backpacks, and that’s saying something! We went down with an instructor and one other man and because it was our first dive we had to link arms the whole time. As soon as we put our faces in the water we were surrounded by fish way bigger than I’ve seen before when snorkelling. We cruised around under water for about half an hour. It took a while to get used to the breathing and trying to equalise the pressure in our ears but I really enjoyed it and wished we could have stayed in longer.
The boat moved to another location on the reef and we were free to do some snorkelling. We hadn’t even been in the water for five minutes when the HUGEST fish I have ever seen went gliding past. I’m not even exagerating when I say I didn’t even know fish could be this size. I’m not sure what to compare it to size-wise but it was MASSIVE! And ugly. Brown and slimy with horrible eyes which kept twitching. The dive instructors had named him Wally and apparently he’s very friendly but I didn’t get close enough to find out for myself! I swam in the opposite direction when I saw it coming. We snorkelled around the reef for an hour or so and took some photos with an underwater camera we hired for the day.
Back on the boat we had a big BBQ buffet lunch and lots of cups of tea. I would definitely do another dive again – I’m on the way to conquering my fear of fish!