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June 19, 2006

Paddy gets PADI'd... again!

So we arrived in Cairns on Wednesday morning and went straight to our hostel - "Dreamtime". A rather sureal oasis of leafy plants and relaxing on the outskirts of the centre of Cairns - I'll try and get some photos. We spent the day planning our time down the coast and discussing all the various options with the (very patient) front desk clerk. After much deliberation (Lloyd Grossman style) we were booked in to various Diving, Sailing and 4x4 driving trips down the coast, combined with various free nights in hostels and bus trips we had the following 14 days planned and booked completely!

We decided to do our Scuba diving here on the Cairns section of the Great Barrier Reef and signed up for a 3 day "live-aboard". We were to do our PADI Advanced Water Course (the follow on to what we learnt in Thailand). The boat had 11 dives over 3 days which was quite a gruling schedule - on both Saturday and Sunday we were in the water diving before 7am... We did 4 dives each day (3 on the last) and included deep diving (to almost 30m) and 2 Night Dives - which were really cool.
We saw loads of fish and wildlife including: White Tip Reef Sharks, Hawksbill Turtles, Green Turtles, Giant Maroi Wrasse, Butterfuly Fish, Clownfish (a.k.a Nemos), Fusilers, Flute Fish, Giant Trigger Fish (I had a stare out with one..), Moray Eels and Parrot Fish to name a few! We got a load of pictures of us diving underwater - the guy who was training us was a National Geographic Photographer - and took his camera with him whenever he could. We alos hired a camera of our own and had a go, the results it must be said weren't as sucessfull ;o)

Despite our failings at pro-photography we all passed the course - so we can now call ourselves "Advanced Open Water" Divers. hehe

Overall the trip was fantastic, the company we went with wasn't the cheapest (by far) by they had the best repuation in town and it really showed on the boat. All the guys were great and when you had 4 full (very big) meals a day it just made it all the better!

We got back exhausted lsat night and after heading to a local bar to have a final meal and goodbye to everyone crashed into bed.

Today we're having a rest and chilling out before getting the overnight bus down to Airle Beach to start our sailing trip.

More news when it happens :o)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at June 19, 2006 11:26 AM


We miss you!

Glad to hear you guys are having fun.

Best wishes
Mike and Mark Mac

Posted by: G at June 23, 2006 03:47 PM