Amazingly Cairns, Australia is only a four-hour nonstop flight from Guam. For once, we didn't even have to change time zones! To get the most out of our time there, we booked a three-day, two-night all-inclusive liveaboard cruise to the outer reef with a dive operator called Pro Dive Cairns. The main appeal of staying on the boat is that you don't have to spend three hours a day traveling to and from the reef. We did that trek once on the first day, once on the last day, and all the dive sites in between were small hops away. Once at the reef, all we had to do was eat, sleep, and dive.
Being late April, Australia is in the middle of its fall season, so we didn't have the most perfect weather. It was really windy, 20-30 knot winds all three days, which made for quite a bit of chop (10-12 foot surf!) on the ride out. The wind and chop also meant we didn't have the most amazing visibility on our dives. We soon came to realize how absolutely spoiled we are from diving in Guam. We even chose to wear wetsuits in the 81 degree water because it felt cold to us. Yes, even Nick, who went through Hell Week in 60-degree San Diego ocean, wore a wetsuit!
Unicorn Fish - So ridiculous looking!
Juvenile Sweetlips - These grow up to be black and white and look completely different (?)
Green turtle - We saw so many turtles!
Macro shot of the inside of a huge clam
Spotted this yummy looking lobster on our night dive!
This Napoleon Wrasse is about five feet long!!! The ramora cleaning it is about 12".
One of many white tip reef sharks (they're harmless, Mom), this one about 6' long.
Doesn't get much more goofy than a box fish!
This flatworm is about the size of a quarter and it flutters through the water like a graceful slice of ribbon. One of the most unique sightings of the trip.
Clown Fish - We found Nemo on his way to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney...
Jellyfish - Luckily not the one that causes anaphylactic shock
In Guam we have clams that are the size of my hand. This giant clam is about four feet long!! Unbelievably massive!
Needless to say, we were so impressed with everything we saw. The amount of things to ogle on this massive reef system was just spectacular. So much creativity and humor under water, making each dive so entertaining. And yet, I couldn't help but feel so small and insignificant when surrounded by such an abundance of life. So grateful to share the sights and sounds of this experience with my favorite dive buddy. And best is all of this activity put us at only three days into our nine-day vacation! More to come :)