Saturday, March 31, 2012

Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef!

As we said, our friend Ryan (H) from home came to visit us here in New Zealand and also visit Australia with us at the same time. He's a certified diver like myself and thus our top goal for our Aus trip was to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. We found a pretty sweet deal w/ Tusa T6's boat and dove with them 3 days, 9 dives in total.

Sadly our first day was plagued with crazy rain and a pretty bad injury on the way out. A lady from Texas got rocked on a rogue wave and flew around the boat smacking into a couple walls and ending up with two black eyes and a dislocated shoulder. Meanwhile 15+ people were puking downstairs from the rough seas. A bad start!

Two of our days were on spent on Hastings Reef and our last one the weather was finally good enough to head somewhere else so we hit the neighbouring Saxon Reef.

I loved the guys w/ Tusa and we met few great people, especially the last day when we met two divers that we went out with later that night for a bit of a party evening, somehow turning a joke about jagerbombs into a night filled with everyone buying rounds of jagerbombs! Oh no... Anyways, hopefully we'll keep in touch with them and they can come ski in Calgary sometime or we can meet up for dives in the future! :D

Here's some of the highlight pictures of the deep and the boat. Overall I wasn't as impressed by the reef as I thought I would be, but perhaps I overhyped it in my mind, or we just had bad conditions / luck, or the best diving was on other reefs we didn't hit, I dunno! Lots of pretty cool coral though! Just not nearly as many big creatures as I'd hoped for (and seen in other locations like Belize).

Off to a great start! Our drive to day 1 of diving.
Nice new boat. Those toilet doors are where the lady smacked her head back and forth. :(
T6! Nice new boat! Just launched last August.
First 5 minutes of the first dive, we see a Turtle! We wouldn't see another large creature until another turtle on our last dive 3 days of diving later. :(
An anemonefish poking his head out just like Nemo. That's all the crew called these guys. Nemoes.
Nice shot of the back of the boat as I'm getting out.
Awesome coral! These guys were the most photogenic probably.
Colourful fish.
Did you know coral was alive? And an animal, not a plant?! 
Parrotfish were a common sight.
One of the smallest clams we saw diving. Yep, that's right: smallest.
These little blue christmas tree worm corals. If they felt too much current they sucked back inside the hard coral.
Coral diversity was high!
Definitely no shortage of fish!
More pretty coral. What can I say?
Omg more coral.
Thought this guy was pretty cool!
Lots of these yellow dudes like to hang out with the harder corals.
Parrotfish again.
Barramundi Cod. Notable since later that night Jacqui ate some for dinner.
School of yellow-tails.
I thought I knew which kind of anemonefish these were, but I guess I'm wrong since that kind doesn't exist.
This guy's a straight up Clownfish. Like Nemo!
This clam is easily big enough to swallow my head.
Self-portrait! Lycra suits to keep us safe from Marine Stingers (see other blog post).
Another turtle! These ones were green turtles I think, as opposed to the Hawks-bill I saw in Hawaii. I think.
Pretty scene!
Not sure what Ryan's looking at but everyone else was taking pictures of the harbour as we went back. :)
Us with our new friends! Vanessa, Jacqui, Me, Ryan H and (I'm pretty sure) some random dude!
Alex and Dom must've been joint-taking the last photo. They're the newcomers here and the two we dove with earlier in the day. Fun night, fun people! :D


  1. Never knew clams got SO big! I get a great education reading this blog!

  2. Wow! Great underwater pictures! Love the marine turtle beside the coral colony. Apparently, coral and fish diversity is indeed high in the Great Barrier Reef! Being a marine biologist and a diver, I have always dreamed of diving the Great Barrier Reef. By the way, tine dives in three days must have been so worth it. :)