Well after almost a year of being under the sea it was definitely time to get back in! We booked with Snorkel Safari who I have to say were professional, friendly and made the day a safe and great one. The journey to the reef is a fairly long one. It was a haul up to Scarborough, probably only 40 mins, followed by an hour and half on the boat to the site. Conditions were good, which made it a pleasant journey for all, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the salt air rested on your skin.
We finally arrived and as always the challenge then is to get your gear on as the boat gently rolls on the ocean, then it’s time to step in to greet the hidden creation. As I begin to descend the sound of my breathing becomes audible as the bubbles rise, equalizing as I try desperately to descend. I have a real issue with the first 5 metres for some reason I struggle to sink down, so extra kg of weight applied and the help of the rope gets me down!
My first feeling is one of awe as the biggest turtle I have ever seen swims past, I just flap about to stay in one spot for a while (of course I would love to say I hover in the water, so much more graceful but alas I am not there yet) we swill along the wall of the reef, fish are everywhere and every color. The lion fish is taking refuge in the tiny crevice of a bommie while Angel fish strut their stuff in full view. Bat fish hang around, and from my experience it’s for a feed, another turtle is at the cleaning station being preened by the cleaning fish. The coral is amazing, color and form spectacular, everywhere you look there is something new to experience. As we do our safety stop we get another glimpse of the huge turtle as he seems to be settling himself under a rock, his or her shell looks like a rock as his or her head is hidden and becomes motionless, apparently they do this when it’s nap time.
After the surface interval and a bite to eat it was down again for the second dive, this time staying around the underside of the boat. Again after the struggle to get down I am greeting with a whole new landscape and a rather large Ornate Wobbygong shark, almost a greeny sort of color it’s well camouflaged on the seabed, he or she just lay there not disturbed by our presence. We continue exploring and then there is this bright green speckled moray eel with it’s head popped out of the bommie, quite an angry looking face but absolutely stunning.
We get the amazing opportunity everyday of our lives to witness the awe of creation, sometimes I think we take it for granted, it’s just a tree, yes the sky is blue, but it really is precious. Diving into this hidden creation reminds me of the frailty and the need to care for creation. When I dive I enter another world, one where I have no control, I am a visitor into the backyard of the marine world and I have a duty to be so in a way that is respectful. I don’t get the shark culling, how dare we, I admit the one thing that scares me is the idea do sharks, but guess what I still enter their territory and I do so as a visitor and knowing the potential risks. The marine garden is often something we only get to see on the TV, I have the privilege to visit and it never ceases to amaze me. The life, the seascape and the color is really breathtakingly beautiful. The idea of it being a hidden creation came to me as I sat on the boat, we could see the bottom of the ocean where the boat was, about 10 meters, but still what was waiting to greet us could not be seen from the surface.
The diving bug has returned so I am looking forward to the next opportunity, even though I have been reminded of muscles I forgot existed.