Today was our last day on the dive trip and it started with a 5:45 wake-up knock. After a conversation/argument with Nicky (one of the dive masters) at dinner last night about whether you get a shorter time before you can fly if you dive on Nitrox (I lost), Jason and Cynthia decided not to dive since their flight was at 5 am and it would only give them about 16 hours. After reading up on it and confessing to Nicky that he was right, you definitely should wait 24 hours before boarding a plane).
But we aren’t flying anytime soon, so I told Jason and Cynthia that I was going to dive all three. They thought I was nuts for wanting to go on the first dive a 6:30 am. I actually like the early morning dives. It’s a bit like when I’ve gone surfing where you get up early, have a dawn patrol surfing session and then come back and chow down on some breakfast. It’s a really nice way to start the day.
We did the morning briefing and the dive was going to be through a bunch of bommies. Flo said the fish would be all grouped together for safety and warmth.
I dove with the same two dudes from the day before’s morning dive. We saw some sharks and some great fish. Flo was right, they all grouped together and were loath to separate, so I got some good pics.
The second dive was an out and back along a nice wall. Flo was excited because this is where the true species of fish that was Nemo was located. Evidently, the Nemo clown fish will not reproduce in captivity, so after the movie came out everyone wanted a Nemo in their fish tank. The down side is that all the real Nemos in the ocean got plucked out of their happy little anemone homes and into a fish bowl, which has caused them to be at great risk of going extinct. Sigh. People.
I dove with a super nice woman, who for the life of me I could not get her name. She was Dutch and her email is Jade. So I will call her Jade. She had just gotten her certification, so she was pretty nervous on the dive. That said, she was quick to gear up and we were the first in the water, which is always nice because the visibility is better than after 32 pairs of fins have stirred everything up.
We dropped down and headed toward the wall. She hung out about 3 meters above me. Her arms flapped like a manta ray, so I swam over to her and told her to keep her arms in close. She got it and started swimming like a pro. We dove for about 40 minutes, got some good pics of Nemo and headed back to the boat.
The last dive was a super shallow dive through a bunch of bommies. I dove with the Dutch woman again; we had a good time together and she was far more relaxed. It was, as Flo put it, high tech snorkeling. In some ways, it was ridiculous to be diving at 2 meters, but the fish were good and I wasn’t going to come half way around the world and not do the last dive. The highlight was that I spotted a lionfish tucked up under a coral overhang. Cool beans.
We got back up on the boat and it was impressive to see how fast and organized the breakdown of the gear was. I went down to the room and then took my 3-minute shower. We had lunch and boat started the journey back into Cairns. I was tired of the sun and heat, so I just sat inside and worked on the blog.
We arrived in Cairns about 4 pm and got in the minivan, checked out with the dive shop and had them drop us at the Abbott Boutique Hotel. We were all pretty wiped and wanted a real shower.
We got to the room and it was a hundred billion degrees. Ugh. We turned on the AC and thankfully it worked well and cooled the room off really fast. We showered, chilled for a bit and then met Jason and Cynthia in lobby. We walked over to the waterfront and found a seafood restaurant so Jason could try out Moreton Bay bugs. It was a pleasant evening and the table had a nice view of the harbor, which by the way, you don’t want to swim in unless you feel like getting eaten by a crocodile.
We headed back to our hotel, gave each other a big hug and generally celebrated another wonderful trip together. It was the end of the trip for Jason & Cynthia. It is not easy to find such wonderful friends that you can travel with and never get tired of; we can’t wait for our next adventure together.