Trip Start Sep 23, 2012
70Trip End Ongoing
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We walked to the dive shop and waited for the mini bus. We were relieved to find 11 others going which greatly reduced the percentage of us being attacked by a shark. It was like the surfing days when if something else was in the water your chances were 50:50. It also helped that some of the other people looked older and slower than us. We were also relieved to hear that they have no barbs in their tails.
We boarded the Uptopia in brilliant sunshine and not completely aware of what to expect. Today was the boat's first trip out for a week because of the wind. We found out later that the locals call November - Blowvember.
First stop was a snorkel at a section of the reef where sharks clean their teeth on the coral. I didn't know they did that but our skipper, Fraser was a marine biologist so who I am to argue. The location was great with heaps of fish and in particular the Snapper were very inquisitive. Our two expert divers Sarah and Kylie were fun and very enthusiastic and were in the water with us. They didn't have a wetsuit small enough for Emmy so Sarah let her borrow her shark skin top. Emmy and Kelli overcame their fears and became immersed in the moment. At some stages you had to work very hard with your flippers to get through the current.
Then it was Manta Ray time. The plane was sent up to spot the majestic creatures from the air. Eventually we came to the bay where they feed and one was spotted. We were in group one and following instructions jumped in. Sarah swam out and spotted one feeding in the lines that they do. They swim along just off the bottom in a straight line for 30 metres turn around and come back. To see the Manta Ray swimming just below you is a fantastic sensation. Sometimes we would have to 'chase' the Manta Ray as his feeding lines changed and arms, legs and flippers were going everywhere! Then we were fortunate enough to have one right below the boat so it was back into the water again. This time he was doing massive underwater somersaults right in front of us! On one occasion he did eight in a row as herded up his lunch. I just floated there watching him in awe.
On the way back to the boat ramp we spotted turtles, dolphins and snorkelled at a shallow location. With the water even clearer it resembled an aquarium.
To cap off a perfect day we had a game of beach soccer and the BEST pizza I have ever eaten.