Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

On the boat heading out to Norman reef

 

 

Jan gives us a briefing on board the boat

 

All kitted out in my wet suit and showing the sign for...

Brittany and Shervin all kitted out as well

Shervin makes friends with the staff

 

Brittany all ready for the big dive

Brittany puts on her flippers

Shervin and Brittany about to let go of the rope

Sheena giving that OK sign again - got it down pat now!!

Brittany, Shervin and Sheena at the bottom of the ocean

Ken in full snorkeling mode

The smile on Ken's face says it all

Brittany off for a snorkel

Brittany sits down as those tanks are VERY heavy

Sheena and Britt waiting to get kitted for our second dive

Brittany and Sheena

That is Sheena getting ready to go in

And I am in!!

Next few photos show some of the magic we saw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felt a squeeze on my hand from Jan - and then he...

We swam alongside this beautiful creature for a few minutes .....

 

How beautiful is he?! What a priviledge to swim with him

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brittany holds the sea urchin - Jan picked him up for us

My turn now - he's all squishy

Safe and sound on the sea floor again

 

Nemo playing peek a boo

I found Nemo!!

Brittany

Its plane, its a mermaid - no it's Brittany!!

 

Check out the stingray

 

The view from under the boat

What an awesome day we have had


Well this was the best day yet as far as I am concerned. Up early and down to catch our boat, the Sea Quest. After an hour and a half cruise out to Norman reef we were given the option of snorkeling or doing an introductory scuba dive. As Ken had only done limited snorkeling before and definitely not in water this deep he opted for the snorkeling whilst Britt, Shervin and I thought we would give the dive a go. Britt and I were feeling very nervous but also VERY excited. Shervin of course was very cool about the whole thing.

After being given a detailed briefing on the boat by our guide, Jan, we were then kitted out with our wetsuit and diving equipment and over the edge we went. First of all we had to descend to a submerged bar by the side of the boat while Jan checked that we were all competent in equalizing our airways, clearing our masks if they filled with water and retrieving our air pipes should they come out of our mouths whilst under. Once given the thumbs up we worked our way down the rope provided then - the big let go. I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about letting go of this life line and once Jan sensed this he took Brit and I by the hand and swam off with us in tow.

And so we entered what felt like a completely different world. Whilst on the boat we had been buffeted by a bit of wind and the water was a little choppy, but once below the surface all this disappeared and our underwater world was calm and serene. We marveled at the massive multi coloured fish that swam by us - taking absolutely no notice of us. And the coral! I have had the privilege of snorkeling on on the Ningaloo Reef and on other parts of the Great Barrier Reef further south but none of what I had previously experienced could match this. I think one part of the magic was the beauty and diversity but the other part was seeing it in this very different way - almost as if we were a member of the marine life whose home this is. Jan was so patient showing us the way to go and pointing out things of interest. I would not have enjoyed the experience half as much if it wasn't for him. All too soon our air supply had gone and it was time to surface and swim back to the boat.

Once on board we were trying to locate Ken when all of a sudden there he was in his wet suit and also wearing a huge big grin. As mentioned before Ken has done very little snorkeling before and does not feel at all confident in water that is deeper than he can stand in - yet he overcame his fears, donned a wet suit and 2 'noodles' around his waist, lay on a board and being towed by his guide, Vincent, off he went to explore. With all four of us back on board we regaled each other with stories of what each had seen and the amazing experience we had just had. Like us, Ken was so full of gratitude to his guide without whom he would never had the opportunity to see and do what he had.

As there was still some time left Britt, Shervin and I jumped back into the water to do some more snorkeling before being called back to the boat for lunch.

After having eaten our fill of the lovely smorgasbord meal around came Jan to find out if any one was interested in doing a second dive. Well Britt and I jumped at the opportunity as who knew when it would ever present itself again. Second time round was just the best! By now we were quite confident under the water and even though Jan took my hand to start with he soon saw I was fine on my own so let me swim on my own. Words cannot describe the wonder of that second swim. I do not think I would ever feel confident enough to go diving by myself but if ever I am given the chance to do it again with a guide I would not hesitate for one moment. I am so proud of all of us for overcoming our fears - Brittany's - the fear of sharks, Ken's - the fear of deep water, mine - the fear of not being able to breath underwater. No fear that I know of for Shervin but if it wasn't for him expressing the desire to have a go at diving none of us would ever have done it.

I have posted quite a few photos from this amazing day - I hired an underwater camera from the boat to be able to capture this unforgettable experience so some of them are quite good. The ones of us on the bottom of the ocean floor holding the sea urchin are towards the end.

HI this is Ken speaking - As you have read already, the boat trip was a hoot. As Sheena said the only water I like is the tonic water with my gin. Vincent was my hero for the day. They asked if any one needed a buddy for the snorkel and I put both hands up and said "Is it possible to put on 6 noodles?". They laughed (I didn't). Any way in I goes, Vincent threw me a line and towed me around for ages. The poor guy was doing the crawl to get us both moving across the reef as I couldn't quite get my arms and legs working right. Nevertheless he towed me across the best bits of the reef and we saw a reef shark on our travels - REALLY COOL!. The reef was fantastic. Really worth doing - I mean the gin and tonic thing!



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