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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)7:01    Post subject: Favorite dive sites! Reply with quote

Hey everyone, just wondering who all here scuba dives and where you like to go Smile

I've lived in Queensland for about two years now (from Seattle area originally) and since then I have become pretty obsessed with diving. I've been to some gorgeous reefs in the GBR, Wheeler Reef being one of my favorites. I haven't gotten a chance to get out to the outer reefs since Cyclone Yasi hit us recently, but I dove the Yongala shipwreck the other day and it was pretty torn up by the storm.

Favorite dive sites? Suggestions? Cool diving stories?
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)1:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where have you been diving in the GBR?

I've been to Lady Elliot Island a couple of times and Heron Island, both were good, but some places in the Soloman Islands has got to be my pick - some crazy reefs and a couple of big wrecks (about 100m long) were so good!

Although Similan Islands (Thailand) had some great diving, I did my first ever dives there. One dive there has got to be top of my list too, swimming with a whale shark is an incredible experience!

Also did some diving last year staying on a dive boat for a few days near Cairns. Was some really good dives, but the night dives are what I remember the most - the sharks always hung around the boat, so when we jumped in there were a good 100 sharks (not big ones - mainly reef sharks) swimming around, it was pretty awesome! (I sorta have a thing for sharks).

I hope to do a cage dive in Port Lincoln this year, I've wanted to for ages, but this year I hopefully should actually get it done!
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)3:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to a bunch of different sites in the GBR, I'd probably have to go through my dive log to get the names of all the different reefs. I've been to Yongala several times, Wheeler Reef, Helix Reef (day trips from Townsville where I live), and a couple liveaboards: one just a short one from Cairns that went to Norman Reef, and another with the JCU dive club that went to Wheeler, Yongala, and a bunch of lesser-visited reefs (the ones I would have to dig out of my old dive log). Oh yeah, and I've also been to Opal and Agincourt reefs out of Port Douglas. I would looooooooooooove to go up the ribbon reefs and to Cod Hole and Osprey Reef, but I could never afford to go on one of those trips (unless I was on the crew....hmmm...) I also recently went to Bali where I dove at Menjangan Island, which was quite nice. I haven't been diving anywhere else in the world, but there are so many other places I would love to go, if I had the time and money.

Aaaaaa I am so jealous of your shark diving and whale shark swimming experiences! I have never seen a whale shark yet, though I would LOVE to, and the only sharks I ever see are little reefies, and never that many. I think it would be awesome to dive with some bigger sharks, and cage diving would be the ultimate experience. Ah well, a girl can dream....
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Nova_C
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Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)9:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time I get jealous about Australia's amazing wilderness I remember that 8 of the world's 10 most venomous animals live in Australia, including the world's deadliest spider.

So it's cool. Smile
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)21:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova_C wrote:
Every time I get jealous about Australia's amazing wilderness I remember that 8 of the world's 10 most venomous animals live in Australia, including the world's deadliest spider.


Laughing Every time I see a show about Australia, the dangerous animals are always mentioned. Apparently just by stepping out into our backyard there's a good chance we will come across some nasty crawler that can kill you or make you very sick...I swear it's really not that bad Laughing it's not like every time I go outside I am concerned I'm going to step on a funnel-web or anything...maybe I'm just used to it but I never think of it being anymore dangerous than other places. I dunno



Yeah agreed, I would have to get my logbook out to tell you the exact site names...

Sounds like you have had a lot of experience diving on the GBR! The major difference I've found from diving in Australia and overseas is all the safety briefings and pre-dive stuff, it gets so tedious. For example, in Soloman Islands, the guide would basically tell us where we are going and what we will see, in less than 5 minutes, then we would jump in and be on our way. In Australia it can take up to an hour for them to go through it all....although I guess the groups were a lot larger.
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)23:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've lived here for two years and I've never even seen most of the dangerous stuff that everyone (overseas) seems to always go on about!

As for dive briefings, Queensland has some of the highest dive safety standards and regulations in the world. Which stands to reason, considering what a major dive tourism destination this is. But we have an excellent safety record! When I went diving in Bali, I was a little worried about safety, and just really glad that I'm a divemaster and know how to look after myself and others!
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)23:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah of course there is good reason for it Laughing

Divemaster hey? Did you do that with PADI? I'm heading towards dive master...maybe try and go a bit further, who knows.

What course did you do to get to divemaster? I plan on doing my rescue diver course soon (hopefully this year at least!)
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)23:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I did it with PADI, finished the course last November. I did my rescue course about a year ago, and my open water and advanced the year before that. I've also got a couple specialties, and if I can get five or more (when I have time and money, of course), then I can get the Master Scuba Diver rating as well, yay!. Dunno if I will go as far as instructor, I'm pretty happy where I am right now, just being able to volunteer as a DM and get to go diving for free. I also just did Reef Check Australia training, so I'll be able to go out on reef survey trips as well. Love diving!!
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)23:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh okay cool.

What specialties did you do?

Yeah diving for free would be pretty good hey! Very Happy

What's the Reef Check Australia training?
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)23:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far I have just done Nitrox, Emergency Oxygen Provider (which you have to do for DM and also the JCU dive register), and I'll get a Reef Health Surveyor distinctive specialty for the Reef Check certification. RCA is an organization that trains volunteer divers to monitor reef health, so they can input the data into a database and compare it to other Reef Check data worldwide. Here's the link: http://www.reefcheckaustralia.org/ The training was pretty fun (just did it last weekend), and I'm looking forward to going out on survey trips! I dunno if you can really do it in Sydney, but you should look into it if you're interested in such things.
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