I feel that I need to further elaborate on my great barrier reef comments:
the Coral really was amazing. The size of it, the variety of it, the formations of it were all spectacular….it simply was the color that I found lacking. I know that colors distort when you are at depth, but even when we were shallow, the colors were not vibrant. I am confident that Coral like that doesn’t exist like that anywhere else in the world, especially in that magnitude. At low tide you could see the tops of it popping up from the surface for as far as the eyes could see.
Maybe it is the years of drooling over National Geographic magazines and coworkers desktop calendars that led me to expect other wise.
Maybe it is also that we were on a larger boat and thus needed larger dive sites in order for the vessel to maneuver. The GBR is the equivalent of a national park, and so you are not allowed to feed the fish which would impact the natural food chain. Perhaps these larger sites get frequented more often, and as feeding does not happen, maybe the fish are scared away by either the increased people traffic or the lager vessel/ louder engine.
Maybe farther out on the reef, the under water flora and fauna does resemble National Geographic. I had hoped that by being on a live aboard vessel would perhaps enable us to see part of that, however we remained at Anchor overnight and thus did not get to other ‘outer’ parts.
Maybe, of the few other dives I’ve done, I’ve been spoiled with volume of fish, wildlife and interesting things to look at.
Maybe we just weren’t at the right sites. I am a firm believer that National Geographic does not base it’s photography on photo shop skills, and thus the underwater glory that they capture on film must exist somewhere….just not at the dive sites we visited.
Maybe I’m crazy…
In any case, I still had a great time, and glad I went and experienced the great barrier reef while it still exists. It is wonderful to have a sport I can equally share with Charles as my buddy, my peer….it might be the only one we have together! I am delighted to find that even though he has years of diving experience on me, I can still ‘hang’ with him–didn’t hold him back. Diving is about the buddy system; you look out for each other and of all buddies to have, I’m glad I can ‘plan my dive and dive my plan’ with him!
There IS one slight problem though….he has about zero body fat which makes him prone to getting cold! I wish I could lend him some of my female blubber–but for all the complaining I do about it, at least it’s good for one thing…keeping me warm at 60 feet down, there I’m thankful to have my layer of female fat!