14
Jan
An Intro to Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef Posted By dan on

Panorak is about seeking Adventure in new and wild places. Most often we look to our local trails, but for those itching to get to the ocean or curious about scuba diving, I may have found the perfect trip for you. Recently I spent two days aboard the Coral Sea Dreaming based out of Cairns, Australia. This overnight trip, maxed out at twelve guests, is a great option for experienced and new divers alike as well as those just looking to snorkel and sail on the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral Sea Dreaming Indeed!

I was picked up early in Cairns at my local hotel and taken to the marina where I had my first view of the Coral Sea Dreaming. During the car ride, I realized that the staff was personable and friendly in a way that you don’t get with many guide companies. From the minute we stepped aboard the boat, it felt like home. Matt , Chantelle, and Nina, or the Skipper, Dive Master, and Hostess (who happened to be one of the nicest and best cooks, I’ve ever met) went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and taken care of.  The trip was booked full with twelve guests, traveling from Germany, Spain, the UK, and the US. We all had different levels of dive experience, but all seemed to be of similar mind set. Aboard the Coral Sea Dreaming, with a full sail under the sun, we couldn’t help but feel that this was a piece of the “good life”.

It took three or four hours to reach our first dive site. Between the coffee, snacks and new friends, it was easy to lose track of time. The certified divers went first while everyone else snorkeled around the reef at a spot called, the Lagoon. The reef was breathtaking, offering more fish, in more colors, and species than I had ever seen before in one place. When it came time to dive, we we’re given instructions on the gear, how to clear our masks, how to communicate under water, and how to equalize. Before I knew it, we were following the anchor down descending in to another world.

I did three dives total, with the instructor right by my side, feeling a little more comfortable each time down. We dove at a popular spot called the Canyons and then at a place called 360 degrees, where the water was the beautiful shade of aqua-green that you usually only see in magazines. On my last dive, we we’re following a massive piece of the reef around a corner when two large sea turtles danced weightless before us, appearing to be in slow motion with the rays of the sun shining on them from above.

A View of the Reef

The entire experience, not only scuba diving, but the hospitality aboard the boat far exceeded my expectations. As we sailed back to shore, with Reggae on the speakers and a delicious lunch in our stomachs, I couldn’t help but feel like I had gotten myself hooked on a new sport, one that will undoubtedly take me on many new adventures and make me more conservation minded, which fits right in with Panorak’s mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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