Hi, it's Sophie here! Today on the RG blog, I'm going to be talking about my diving experiences...
When travelling to Aus, you think of three things:
1. The Sydney Opera House
2. The Sydney Harbour Bridge
3. The Great Barrier Reef!
As we were due to see the Bridge and the Opera House in the upcoming weeks, we decided the only logical thing to do when we were on Magnetic was to go and visit the Reef. With some boat companies you can glide along in a glass bottomed boat to see the reef but we wanted to get closer- and where better to learn to dive and get a PADI? The Real Gap scuba diving course is awesome too- you can head up to Cairns with those guys and in a week get your qualification, bam!
When we arrived, we were greeted by an English man who lives 10 minutes down the road from us (this isnt that strange- there are A LOT of English and Irish people living in Aus!) and he preceded to tell us that he would be our instructor for the next 3 days. After formal introductions had been made, Me, my Mum, Simon (our instructor), Denise (a lovely girl from Germany) and Francois (the MOST attractive man from France!) went round the back of the centre to a pool, where we had to prove our swimming ability by swimming twelve lengths- my mum almost died when she found out!
We got suited and booted in our diving gear, which makes you look as if you are in some futuristic space film from the 1960s- and got stuck in! For the next three sessions we practiced in the pool, showing off our new skills before heading out to the ocean. I found it quite easy but my Mum found it pretty difficult- so our instructors took her off by herself to give her some one-on-one attention which was great. Ironically, on the days we went in to the ocean, the weather, which had been glorious sunshine for the rest of the trip, decided to have a strop and to bucket it down- so when we entered the ocean, the sea bed was so murky you could only identify the diving infront of you by their fins!
The PADI course was brilliant fun, but make no mistake it is hard work! But if you want to see the best of the Reef, and indeed some of the most spectacular sights in the world, which only a small number of people have seen, then I would definitely recommend it!