Dan and Justy Down Under


January 29, 2005


As the boat slammed through the surf on the way to the dive site, Justy said: "I'm really excited about the diving..." and then lapsed into a pretend snore as she closed her eyes and lay her head back.

Lady Elliot Island is a place for doing, not relaxing.

We were just nackered most of the time. Now emerged from our cloud coccoon, there was no relief from the heat. Sun that just barely respects the shade. Humidity in excess of 100%. Don't argue! You weren't there!

We were a bit on edge. We napped at mid-day. I had the (thankfully) unique expeience of lying in bed with a large fan blowing full-on me, and sweating. The naps were necessary, but not that restful. We often awoke in a more pitiful state than we bed down in. But less aggressive, to be sure.

Our last dives had the usual points and a couple special ones. We saw a 6 foot free swimming moray eel. He dove into a coral head and stuck his head out obligingly for us to snap away at. Later in the wicked current, our group got separated. Partly they headed down the coast, partly out to sea. We were in the latter group. It did afford us a chance to see a large (8') shovelnose shark peel out in the current like a car taking a slick road turn too fast. That was very cool!

We spent our last night watching a large turtle dig her crater. It's not exciting stuff. Each flip of her flipper is preceded by a heaving breath and a laborious dig of the appendage. It's slow work. We hung about admiring the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds, all quite visible even with a full moon in a cloudless sky.

I shot video for several of these dives. My first video shoot with my gear. It went well, but the conditions were challenging. Surge and current and at times, just too much going on. I'd be shooting a Maori wrasse and a turtle would dive into the shot. Another time I had to choose between a Maori wrasse, a turtle, a shark and 2 very playful, but large angelfish. Sensory overload, but hey, just what we signed up for.

Itinerary Highlights
January 20: Winery Tour
21-23: Moreton Bay Diving
25: Australia Zoo
26-30: Lady Elliot Island
February 13: Diving the Yongala
15-17: Cape Tribulation + Daintree Rain Forest
17-20: Atherton Tablelands
22-28: Coral Sea Diving Liveaboard
March 11-13: OzTek Dive Conference: Sydney
14: Fly to New Zealand
20: Poor Knights Islands Diving
31: Mt. Cook
April 2-4: Queenstown
TBD: To Be Dreamed

Digital Pix Courtesy of Shimmivision.com
More Digital and Film Pix Coming Soon.