Am in Port Douglas enjoying the beach after a week of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I still don't have my sea legs back as I am still gently swaying in my mind. It has been two days since I've been off the boat but I still feel like I'm moving... I'm feeling dizzy.
Had a couple of perfect days the last two. Had a Jurlique facial, a sublime two hour deep tissue massage and a lovely dinner trying new items such as crocodile and a crayfish/lobster hybrid crustation loving referred to as "bugs". I'm not a fan of crocodile(taste like a gamy chicken) and prefer cold water Nova Scotia lobsters yet it was fun to try something new. Lyn, a new dive buddy friend, accompanied me. Drank a lovely '07 Voyager Semillion Sauvignon Blanc with dinner. I loved the scenic drive from Cairns to Port Douglas with the lush tropical rainforest, green fields of sugar cane and gorgeous white sand beaches. Yesterday, I spent the morning and afternoon at the beach reading, sleeping and watching the waves. I walked along the beach and noted the beauty of the little sand balls that the crabs had created overnight. Later, I joined the Port Douglas Yacht Club for an exciting and turbulent evening sail. Ken, the skipper, let me steer the sailboat and his crew called me a natural! It was exciting to have my inaugural navigation experience in the Coral Sea! I brought some Cooper's Pale Ale beer for myself and those on the boat while we watched the sunset and warm salt water splashed on our faces. Earlier in the evening drank a limey '06 Brokenwood Semillion.
Last week, I had a great time diving in the Great Barrier Reef. The ship was very nice, the staff very welcoming and the food, quite good. The wine was not good. The best of the lot was a commercial Jacob's Creek shiraz but I was too tired most days to drink any more than one or two glasses of wine. The wines on board had too much SO2 upon opening. Diving 3, 4 or 5 times a day was exhausting. I did a fair amount of due diligence when researching the best liveaboard boat. Mike Ball and Spirit of Freedom had the best reputations. THIS WAS THE BEST DIVING I'VE EXPERIENCED to date: a visual smogasbord! Sharks, lionfish, eagle rays, anenomes, nudibranches, potato cod, sea turles, sea snakes, and live, buzzing coral. I even experienced my first night dive. Being in the dark made me feel a bit anxious beforehand but I found my calm breath again once I was underwater. Unfortunately, the experience wasn't all positive as I was painfully stung by a jellyfish on my hand, knees and ankle on my return! My divemaster put vinegar on my wounds but I still have these gross little red bumps on my skin that itch like crazy. Oh, the traumas of diving. I would definitely recommend liveaboard diving! The trip ended onshore at Lizard Island. From here, Mike Ball arranged a scenic private charter along the reef back to Cairns.
I considered going to the nearby world heritage rainforest of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation but less is more. I'm in the Tropics and at the same latitude as Tahiti so I should be relaxing and am resisting my natural urge to want to see and do everything.
Will be back in New York in less than a week. Spending the long weekend in Sydney with my foodie/wino friend David before I return home. Time has passed all too soon.