Where in the World are the Margolins? travel blog

writing my postcards

Getting ready to go diving

Guests on the dive trip

playing under water



sunsest on the boat

large potato cod

yes, it's a shark



Since Jen has gotten her Scuba certification in Thailand, she has been incredibly excited to see the GBR. We found a live-aboard boat that took us out to the outer reef for five days. The ship's name is MV Nimrod Explorer and has the ability to take sixteen passengers and seven crewmembers. We lucked out with only eight passengers. It was like a private dive excursion. The fellow passengers were all in their twenties and thirties.

Each day on the boat one has the opportunity to make four to five dives per day. The schedule is packed with diving. You are up at 6:30 a.m. for a dive briefing and a light breakfast then dive, back on board for a hot brekky then dive again. Lunch followed by a dive, snack time then dive again, dinner and finally a night dive. The schedule is demanding on your body. After the first day I had blood in my sinuses and had to be very careful how I conducted my dives. If you go up and down continuously throughout the dive it can wreck havoc on your sinuses.

The best diving that we had was a pinnacle called Steve's Bommie. This site was dedicated to Steve who was a local diver that was killed while free diving another site. This pinnacle was his favorite site. This dive site had so many fish it is hard to describe. You could look out and see thousands of fish, some staying close to the reef and some schooling. I have never seen anything like it before. While diving at this site Jen had a yellow and pink fish that kept playing with her. It would swim right up to her mask and she kept turning to make sure I saw the interaction. As she would turn to look back to get my attention the fish would swim through her hair like it was coral. It was quite amusing.

Everyone I have spoken to who has been in Australia (and Asia) has said you get used to seeing sharks in the waters. Well we sure did. White tip reef sharks are fairly small (under six feet) and everywhere. It was a special treat to see them when they are more active in the nighttime. They like coming near the flashlight during night dives. Jen was not a fan of this curiosity, but she managed.

During one night dive we saw giant trevally (tuna) which are a silver schooling fish. When your light hits the prey of GT they go after the small fish like lightening. Often times on night dives you can turn off you're light and see bioluminescent plankton. One night I kicked and waved my hands with the lights off just to see the tiny particles light up. Very cool.

What else...The Cod Hole. This is a dive location near Lizard Island. For some reason giant codfish gather in this area. They are grey and black spotted fish weighing a few hundred pounds. The dive masters and certain boats are allowed to feed these fish in very small quantities. The coral gardens were beautiful. See the pictures.

Jen wanted to put in a quick plug on how much air she uses when we dive. Being that I am larger than her I tend to use air at a rate forty or so percent more than she does. We decided that when I run out of air we would find another "buddy" for her to finish the dive with. She likes to brag about this a bit. Being a Pisces she is part fish.

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