Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Tiger Sharks and Sexy Shrimp

Posted from Holmes Reef, Coral Sea at 4:00 am, June 5th, 2024

Two tiger sharks decided to pay a visit on our first dive of the day. We were diving with Pedro, one of the staff, and as the first shark appeared Pedro went absolutely nuts, pumping his fist and chasing after it – apparently it was his first ever tiger shark and he was a wee bit excited. For me, his reaction was almost more fun than seeing the sharks. And before my mom gets too worried, what I’ve been told from divemasters elsewhere is that you don’t really want to be on the surface when a tiger shark is in the water, but they’ll ignore scuba divers once they are under the surface. These were big sharks, and both crew and passengers were fired up to get to see them.

Our next two dives were at a spot named “Amazing Caves”, and I’ll leave it to the reader to guess what the attraction there was. Underwater spelunking isn’t generally my first choice of things to do while diving – I don’t like having to maneuver in narrow spaces while trying not to bump my regulator – but at least one of the caves was a big one and ended up being a fun swim through. We wrapped up the trip with a visit to Nonkies Bommie. I’ve got no clue what a “Nonkie” is, but as I’ve learned on this trip, a “bommie” is a giant underwater rock, and this one was a fun spot to do a few laps around to admire the fish and beautiful coral fans. One of the other passengers saw a sexy shrimp at this site – we initially thought she said “sixty shrimp”, but as it turns out there is indeed a species of shrimp that is commonly known as the sexy shrimp, and while I’m no expert on small crustaceans, having pulled up a photo on the internet, it is indeed a fine looking shrimp that I’m a little bit bummed to have missed out on.

Tomorrow we wake up early, say goodbye to everyone on the boat, then we’re off to Sydney (and yes, we’re following the PADI guidelines of waiting 18 hours after diving before flying). Somehow this three month adventure is down to its final week. When it started back on March 17th I had a little bit of trepidation about leaving my familiar routine for such a long period, but as it’s coming to an end I honestly don’t remember exactly what the old routine was anymore, and would gladly continue these adventures longer if it was an option. I’m lucky to have had this opportunity, and hopefully this sabbatical won’t be the last time that I pack a bag, walk out the door, and don’t return for a very long time.

Sea Fan, Holmes Reef, Coral Sea

Sea fan on Holmes Reef. The coral has been very healthy on our dives.

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