Nemo Found

Rainy season in the tropics is no joke. Our drive into Cairns was plagued by fierce rain and I was convinced that we would be hydroplaning off the road at any moment. We figured that the soggy weather did not bode well for our plans to see the Great Barrier Reef. However we failed to enter one key (and fairly obvious) point into this assumption: the Reef is in fact underwater anyway.

So on a gray and rainy day we embarked on our journey to the Great Barrier Reef, with every intention of finding Nemo and with me expecting to drown in my own snorkeling mask. I almost followed through with this plan (I am seriously bad at snorkelling) until I discovered the joys of scuba diving. Our tour included a brief lesson in the art of breathing underwater and, once I realized that I was not choking on sea water, I gladly threw piles of cash at the tour company for the opportunity to get up close and personal with the fish.

Here’s another experience that I’ll have trouble expressing. As soon as your head is underwater everything is silent and weightless. Moving around is much easier since you don’t have to deal with waves crashing on your head. You take your mind off breathing and inspect the coral and fish with the great detail and curiosity of a little kid. And why not? Since this world is as new to you now as everything was as a child.

We saw clownfish (which even the instructors call Nemos), sea cucumbers, one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, fish whose heads were as big as mine… And coral in all stages of life and death. I fed algae to a sea turtle! I didn’t want to come back up to the surface.

I just assumed that scuba diving was something that was beyond my ability (since snorkeling is such a problem) and you’ll have to indulge me since I’m still rather impressed with how cool I am right now! Come on, aren’t we the coolest people you know?

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