WE DOVE THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!
And we wanted decent pictures to show for it.
Since our underwater disposable camera in Thailand was CRAP, we decided to rent the real deal. A couple from Spain came to dive the reef a few years ago and was appalled that there was no company to rent underwater digital cameras from so they sold all they had, moved to Cairns, and started their new business 'Cairns Digital'. Smart move!
Even though the camera was way better, it's still HARD to take pictures under water. These are the barriers we faced:
1) It's difficult to see through the waterproof casing;
2) you either accidentally plummet to the reef floor or float above water while paying attention to the camera;
3) you lose the group while trying to get a good shot.
All of these things happened to us... but we still got some fun shots.
After an early check-in, our boat left the dock at 8:30am.
While we're certified divers and qualified to dive on our own, we chose to dive with a guide so we could enjoy the reef without getting lost. Our group was the second group to go at each reef we stopped at, so we did some snorkeling in the meantime.
At 11:30am, we went down for our first dive... at Saxon Reef.
We spotted a few nemos (among other things such as sea cucumbers, giant clams, string rays, a wide assortment of fish, and much much more)...
Now for a little science lesson for you all. Want to know what would've REALLY happened if 'Finding Nemo' was realistic? Okay, I'll tell you (warning: not suitable for young children). When Nemo's Mom and the eggs were killed by the barracuda, Marlin (Nemo's Father) would have become female and would have gotten funky with Nemo (in order to replenish the eggs). I think Pixar just wanted to keep this story G rated!
Our knowledgable guide, Melissa, taught us all of these things. And as coinkidink would have it, Lowell grew up with half of Melissa's extended family in Canada... SMALL WORLD OR WHAT?!
The second reef we dove in was called Hastings Reef.
Apparently, every time the boat stops here, a fish named Wally hangs around like a loyal puppy dog. Wally, as you can tell from the following picture, is the Angelina Jolie of fish.
CHECK OUT THOSE LIPS!!
And just for your knowledge, Wally used to be female.
We were sad that we didn't spot any sharks, but at least we saw PLENTY of other cool things.
Diving the Great Barrier Reef was the last thing on the list of things we set out to do when heading down under. I guess that means it's time to go home!