March 15, 2005
Gear and Prep: All gear was provided, including dive computers if you didn’t have yours, wanted to try something else, or just didn’t bring yours. A brief lesson how the dive computers worked and the no-deco numbers to watch carefully. Wetsuits were full-length, which in spite of the warmth of the water, was needed. If you didn’t have a dive buddy, you were appropriately matched to someone with similar experience. I happen to get a couple of awesome dive buddies. Geoff and Jason quickly learned how I scoured the rocks for little nudibranchs. Hence, I would have missed the shark and eagle ray, had they not gotten my attention. Moreover, they too looked for the nudis and pipefish to show me. None of us passed on single dive either with 5 over the course of the day beginning at 6:30am and ending at 9:15pm.
Dives: After a dive briefing that included some of the marine life we may find, we suited up and headed for the platform. Our dives were typically to 90 or 100 feet, lasting for about an hour. We saw a variety of fish, as well as a plethora of corals. Some of the more unique or less frequently seen marine life were the turtles, moray eels, and the eagle rays.
The apex of the dive tour was the Cod Hole, known for huge code, some the size of us. Here our guide Demi gave pre-dive instructions before descending and assembling into a semi circular group for Demi to perform the Cod feeding show. First, Demi got in the middle of all of us holding a chunk of fish above his head while we watched the fish come by and take. He kept the food in a carrying container because he said someone once put food in their B.C. pocket, only to have an eel puncture through it in an effort to get at the food it smelled. The guide then came within a couple feet of each diver, and when he/she nodded his/her head, he pulled out a piece of food so that you were looking down the open throat of the cod. After each of us experienced this, some lingered to take pictures, while others explored a bit of the area before surfacing. We all surfaced, more than satisfied with our "cod-feeding" experience.
Our one-way live-aboard dive experience came to an end, and we docked in Cookstown. From here, we were flown back in three six-passenger planes to where we ended our trip with a low-flying aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef.
From journal Reef to Rainforest