The entire point of my trip was to go to the Reef. Originally I was just going to go to the Reef for a few days then go around Asia for the rest of my time. I was later convinced to do other things up the coast and I’m so so so grateful I did. When I finally got to the reef it was not what I expected, though I have to say it wasn’t all bad.
The weather here has been unbelievably terrible. I was meant to go on the boat Thursday but because of the terrible weather it got pushed to yesterday, Saturday. I get on the boat at like half seven, which is far too early for me to ever be doing anything so I was fairly miserable to start. It’s raining again but I am told it will clear up so I have some faith. This faith is short lived because it never got better. In fact, it was so choppy I actually got seasick for the first time in my entire life. Me, the girl who reads in cars for 8 hours at a time and can’t even remember the last time she threw up, puked her brains out. I’m pretty sure I threw up more than a freshman girl at a frat party. The best part? I was sitting on the wrong side of the boat and couldn’t make it so I threw up in the wind and ultimately all over myself. Embarrassing, right?. Then the boat looked like it was going to tip over every five seconds because it would lean so far that the deck was starting to dip in the ocean. Have I mentioned that my biggest fear is drowning? Ya. I lost my shit (to say the least) and clutched on to something on the boat ready for my imminent death and the loss of my beautiful photos. SPEAKING OF PHOTOS. The boat rocked so much earlier that my camera flew out of my hand as I fell over in my cabin, smashed into a wall and broke the lens into smithereens. Yes, that happened, mom & dad. I hope you’re proud because I am!
We finally made it to our first dive site after three hours of this bs. I had a free introductory dive and decided to do it here. I dived at the Whitsundays and did perfectly fine. Remember this fear of drowning? I figured I’d freak out and not be able to breathe underwater but I was fine. In fact I was more than fine. I was able to do the practice exercises where I took out the mouthpiece, had to keep exhaling, find the piece, put it back in and continue breathing. I did it a few times without panicking so I figured when I got to the reef everything would work out. It didn’t. I jumped off the boat, found myself in open water and panicked. I don’t know what I was thinking. I get anxiety watching effing Nemo swim out into open water and that’s a cartoon. I had to get back on the boat to calm down before doing anything else and sat out on the dive. At the next site, it was shallow enough that I felt ok so I snorkeled for a bit to see the sights. I swam among some fish and even saw a little tiny sand ray poke out from under a big piece of coral! However the visibility wasn’t the best. Because I felt like I had gotten my nerves in check after a mellow snorkel, I decided to try a dive again and it went well. I swam with all of these cool fish and saw a giant fish under the boat! It was like 3ft long! So cool!
Aside from that, the people on my boat were mostly older, certified divers, who were all really nice. The food was good as well, though nobody ate much for fear of throwing everything up. That night the certified divers all went on a night dive and apparently they saw squid and cool things. It actually sounded absolutely terrifying to me. I probably would have done it…then cried…then told everyone it was awesome.
This morning we were up at half six to do a dive an hour later. I decided to try the dive again but the water was even choppier than it was the first day so I lost it again and had to get back on the boat. I don’t know what my problem is. Well, I do–I’m beyond terrified of drowning and/or getting eaten by a shark, but usually I can buck up and get through it. I knew that in the end nothing would happen to me but until I didn’t want to have to deal with the journey from point A to point B so I went snorkeling instead and actually saw some amazing coral. There was so so so much of it! Then as we were eating lunch a sea turtle swam by our boat! After that little bit of excitement we headed back to shore.
I. Have. Never. Been. So. Happy. To. See. Land. In. My. Life.
To be honest, I felt pretty upset about the whole thing because my whole point in coming was to see the reef and I could barely do it. However, it wasn’t a total bust. I did see a lot of fish, I did see the reef, and I did at least do one dive. Now I know though that I want to become a certified diver when I get home so that I can get over this fear. So really, I haven’t given up. I just need another shot so I’m proud of myself for trying and recognizing this and am excited to get cracking on this license so that I can see other things. Next stop: Cenote diving in Mexico 🙂
Annnnnnnnnd tomorrow I’m off to a rainforest! Yes!