I was a little disappointed with the scuba dive that I had done whilst in Airlie Beach. After looking at the many brochures they had at our current caravan park, Stef convinced me to dive again. I was a little reluctant to do it, as I didn’t want to spend the extra money to see the same murky waters I had previously. But, I bit the bullet and booked a seat on the Silverswift. It was the best diving that was available as not only they went to the Great Barrier Reef, they also went to the outer reefs. They also had an amazing boat to match. It did mean however, that it meant an early start to the day, as I had to be at the dock by 7:30am! Stef didn’t want to dive, however, on the seafront, near the dock, Cairns have their own little lagoon. It’s a man-made beach with plenty of place to sunbathe.
We parked the van up and made our way into town. Stef and I have been travelling for nearly 6 months. Each and every day, we have been together. The only real time we have been apart is when either of us go to the toilet or I cook the food on the BBQ whilst she prepares the meal in the van. It was weird not being with her for the day, but to be honest, and a little rude, I did not notice as it turned out to be the best dive I have ever done. (Plus I got to sunbathe in peace, without Barry moaning it was too hot or constantly asking me to cream his back! – Stef)
I originally paid for just the one dive. I didn’t want to splash the cash for it to disappoint me. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the first dive site. The boat was one of the best boats I had been on. It had free Wi-Fi for a start – so Stef and I could still communicate as Cairns town centre also has free Wi-Fi.
We geared up for the first dive and I leaped off the boat into the water. It was ridiculously clear. In Airlie Beach, I could barely sea my hand in front of my face; however, here you could see for about 20 metres. It was spectacular – there were more fish than I’d ever seen before. All sorts of sizes and colours. After taking some amazing photos and videos, we got back onto the boat. I couldn’t give them the money for the next two dives quick enough!
On the next dives, we swam with turtles and a fish the size of a small person. It was massive for a fish! Both the turtles and fish were so friendly. They didn’t mind waiting around for photos or you swimming right next to them. I even saw the giant fish kiss one of the guides! We also swam through many coral caves where you were surrounded by the stuff. The crew on the boat were super. They were always there when you needed them and were very funny and informative. I can’t really express how fantastic it was and you could only get the true picture if you dived it yourself, but hopefully all the photos and video I have posted will give you a little insight.
I returned to the dock at about 4:30pm and was greeted by Stef. She had been sunbathing all day and was slightly red. She never learns. When we were about 17, we went to USA and she got so burned (as she never put on lotion) I had to push her around in a wheel chair! It turned out to be a good thing though as we went to the front of every queue for the roller coasters!
We walked back to the van and headed back to the park. As for the next day, we handed back the van. It was quite emotional. It had been our home for two and half months. We knew every bit of that van and it had seen us both naked. We had a bond.
However, we dropped the van off and walked to our hotel, the Best Western City Sheridan that just down the road. I knew I had booked the room for a reason but could not remember why. When we opened the door, I soon remembered. It was a small suite and had a big Jacuzzi in the bedroom. That night, we sat on the sofa, watched TV and had a Dominoes pizza – just like we would if we were back in England.
The next day, we got a shuttle bus to the airport as our next destination was going to be one of the largest rock in Australia…Uluru (or Ayers Rock as it’s commonly know).