Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef

The day after our Rainforest Tour in Cairns, we boarded the Spirit of Freedom live aboard boat for a four day scuba diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef. It was the most insane experience; we did eleven dives in only two and a half days.Each dive was between30-60 minutes long.It was physically taxing. We literally ate and dove throughout the entire day with short breaks in between, so by the time our last dive and dinner was over, we could hardly keep our eyes open. So from wake up call at 6:30am to around 5pm (except for the night we did a night dive) we were going-going-going. Since we were already doing so many dives, and our whole point of this part of the trip was to dive the Reef, Kev and I also decided that we might as well get our advanced open water diving certification. So, yay!, Kev and I are now certified advanced open water divers.

Diving the Great Barrier Reef was the coolest experience ever. I saw neon colored coral, cod, jelly fish, whitetip reef sharks, a sea turtle, and amazing fish of all different colors. Do you remember reading The Rainbow Fish when you were younger? Well, when I was a child, it was one of my favorite books. I remember thinking how pretty and colorful the fish in the book were and how I wished all fish were that pretty. Well, the fish on the Great Barrier Reef are just as vibrant. What’s cool too is that from far away (especially during low visibility underwater) the coral can look dull and colorless and it often looks like there aren’t even any fish around. It isn’t until you get closer and really look closely that you can see some of the coolest things including small, multi-colored fish, neon colored fish, clams, eels or sea snakes hiding in crevices, etc.

My goal of our dive trip was to see a sea turtle. Several other divers in different dive groups saw some throughout the dives and I was so bummed that I missed them. I was beyond ecstatic when I finally saw one on the very last dive on our last dive day. It came out of nowhere and swam right by me. Even though we were exhausted and ready for a break after eleven dives, the dive trip was an unbelievable experience and my body missed being under water after I had a full day to rest. I already can’t wait until my next dive trip.

Since you need to wait at least 18-24 hours until you can fly after your last dive, on our last day with Spirit of Freedom we explored Lizard Island where we learned the story of Mary Watson. We then hiked a large hill for a gorgeous view followed by a little lunch on the beach. From Lizard Island we boarded a small plane and flew back to Cairns, and from Cairns Kevin and I flew back to Sydney where we spent our last two days in Australia before flying home.

Below are some of my favorite videos I took on my GoPro during my dives:

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