Before I tell you about the majestic paradise that is Whitsundays I want to tell you a little story of my first experience under the depths of the big blue sea. It is because of this experience that, I not only want to, but NEED to conquer my fears of exploring life under the sea.
This memoir begins with a young girl aged 10 on a family vacation in Mauritius. I had one mission- to keep up with the boys, my older brothers who were 13 and 20 at the time. Growing up with two older brothers means you are constantly trying to get into the ‘boys club’ even after being tormented endlessly and told “the Great White sharks in the ocean only eat little girls like you” and “the boogie man lives in Nick’s cupboard and he only likes the taste of girls with brown hair”. Teased, tortured and provoked – only made me want to prove to them “that anything boys can do girls can do better”.
Left out of most of the activities on the trip I wanted to find something we could all do together. I saw a poster for “Underwater Walking” which looked thrilling, adventurous and most importantly something only a brave little girl would do. So I booked the trip for my brothers and myself, hoping I’d finally prove my “coolness” to them.
One-hour boat ride later and we were squeezing into wetsuits about to get our under water walk on. The only problem was the underwater “helmets” looked nothing like the luxurious space-aged ones I’d seen in the glamorous poster. No, these underwater helmets looked liked they’d come from the 1900’s. They were so heavy that a crane had to be used to lift the helmet off the boat and onto your head in the water. A CRANE?! Did I mention the activity was for over 13’s..
Feeling like my insides were about to come out of my ears I got into the water and awaited my fate. The ancient diving helmet slowly lowered itself onto my shoulders and before I knew it I was sinking slowly down to the depths of the ocean floor. One of the instructors came up to my face and asked me to give him the ‘O.K’ sign, which I denied and instead waved my arms around frantically. Apparently he took this as I was having a wonderful time and left me to sink even further. The helmet misted up and I was now a blind, sinking underwater walker. Not able to see much through the misty haze I think I must’ve walked in circles for the entire hour that we were under. Fish? What fish? I never saw a thing.
On our boat ride back, trying to keep my terrifying experience to myself, my brothers were laughing about how much fun it was rugby tackling me underwater. Say What? If I was stuck going around in circles underwater whom did my brothers rugby tackle? I looked up and noticed at the end of the boat a tiny, traumatized Chinese lady who looked like she had been attacked by sharks. Maybe my misty helmet wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened underwater?
The two things I learnt on this expedition :
1) Always stick to the Age Limit
2) No-one can hear you scream underwater
The only way to cure a bad experience is to make new awesome, exciting ones! So that is why I’d LOVE to go snorkeling / diving under the sea in the Great Barrier Reef at Whitsundays!
“The Whitsundays are a nature lovers paradise. With 74 tropical islands, there’s so much to do from the majestic Great Barrier Reef to adrenalin pumping aerobatic Tigermoth tours and skydiving” says expert MyDestination, WhitSundays”.
Tammy Smith, the managing Director at My Destination Whitsundays, tells me that there are 2 major locations to see the Great Barrier Reef from. The first was the most popular years ago at Cairns, but these days more people are coming to the Whitsundays to explore it from here, because “we are literally at the heart of the Great Barrier reef, where there is still more living coral and sea life than our far north neighbors at Cairns. This is largely because of too much tourism to the GBR further up from us, with a lack of knowledge on how to protect the corals and sea life, The Whitsundays has watched and learnt from their mistakes and so we try to look after what we have”.
Tammy also has an agreement from Shane Batham, based in Airlie Beach, in the Whitsundays, to take the winner on a personal dive, to his very favorite spots on the reef, Shane is a world renowned, underwater GBR reef videographer. Now that’s what I’m talking about.Royal Treatment. None of this ancient helmet seawater gear. !
While in Whitsunday I would also LOVE to experience a Tigermoth Adventure
“Up to eight times more adrenaline pumping action than Skydiving, a Tigermoth Adventure is the most unique and exciting way to discover the stunning Whitsundays. Feel the wind in your hair in an aerobatic flight or choose a leisurely sightseeing affair; from the open-air cockpit of a vintage Tiger Moth bi-plane, and see the world take on a new perspective.” Sounds wild! To find out more click here.
To find out more about Whitsunday visit the MyDestination Whitsunday page here.