DIVING THE NINGALOO REEF

My first dive spot in Exmouth was the Navy Pier. When I arrived to the dive shop most of the things were ready for me. I just had to check in and pay the pier fee. Once I did that I was fitted for my gear. We then got loaded on the bus to watch the safety video and we were off. It was all secret business. We had to stop off at the defense base entrance to get the key to the pier and after a certain point we weren’t even allowed to take our phones outs.

As we just got onto the start of pier we were already lucky to see five sharks in the water. Once we finally got to the end of the pier we were rushed to get into gear so we wouldn’t miss our dive time. We were super lucky today as we got two dives not just one. We were able to take it slower and enjoy each section on a separate dive. A dive master Amy took us on our dive, she was great at pointing out different things in the water. On our first dive we I swear I saw more variety of fish than I have in my 10 dives in Honduras. The deepest part of the dive was 14m so we were able to stay for around 50minutes each time.

In between dives we had a short water and cake break, changed our tanks over and went down again. In the two dives we saw so many different fish I couldn’t even name them all. Some of the highlights were seeing a white and black tip reef sharks, a turtle, two Wobbey Gongs, Angler Shallow Water Fish, Nudi Branch in all sizes from centimeter ones to ones the size of my hands, lots of Black Catfish that are endemic to Ningaloo. We saw lots of Starfish, Lion Fish, Butterfly Fish, Angel Fish and Box Fish. We also found a few Moray Eels and Octopuses hiding in the coral. The Navy pier is also known for being a home to BFG (the Big Friendly Groper) which I was lucky enough to get really close to as I got the air buttons confused on my BCD and shot myself right up to it. The pier is such a rich place for marine life because it is so protected and only a dive shop with a license is allowed to go there.Diving in Australia is a bit more expensive but totally worth it!

I then got dropped off back to the van before Yolly so I decided to go visit Matt and Olivia at their caravan park for a swim at the pool. Yolly joined us shortly and we decided to go shopping for the BBQ we would have later that night. We then did the usual camper activities like playing cards while having a few drinks. After dinner we decided it was time to park up the van for the night.

The next morning we did our wake up before sunrise routine. At the beach we bumped into our friend Raul a Spanish guy we met the other night. We had a chat to him and then heading for the dive shop. Today I’ll be diving in Lighthouse Bay.

When I arrived tit the dive shop, I thought I might have confused the times because it was so quiet compared to yesterday but then I saw Roos sitting on the bench. I asked her, “Am I late? Where is everyone?”. She assured me that I was in time and that we are just waiting on two more people. After they arrived we went to pick up the others from their accommodation and made our way to the boat.

On the boat we had all our gear and were briefed on the two spots we were going to dive today. The first spot we were diving at was called Blizzard Ridge before we even got there we saw a sea snake on the surface. We were actually looking out for whale sharks but unfortunately we didn’t see one.

We got into gear and stepped off the boat. On the first dive I got chased by an Olive Sea Snake which I think was the scariest thing ever. I first spotted it and was so fascinated by it. It looked just like a real snake but swimming through water. Earlier on the boat they were telling us that sea snakes are curious creatures and sometime swim up to you. One of the instructors shared that he once had the sea snake swim into his BCD(the air vest you wear). The snake than took an interest in me and began swimming towards me, all I could think of is that they sometimes swim up to your goggles and I really didn’t want that to happen. I began to swim away from it and it began to follow me. It was so freaking scary but eventually it gave up.

After the snake incident we saw a White Fin Reef Shark, lots of Box Fish, Clown Fish, Rankin Cod, Angel Fish, Cat Fish, Butterfly Fish, Long Fin Banner Fish just to make a few.

Back on the boat we had a BBQ and then got ready for our second dive at the Labyrinth. Here we saw another White Tip Reef Shark, a Turtle, Scorpion Fish which are so well camouflaged that we only saw it because Aaron scared it while pointing out a Nudibranch. We also saw Cray fish, Moroorish Idol, loads of Glass fish, Christmas Worms in various colours, Moray Eel and many more.

On the drive home Roos told me where we could watch baby turtles hatch. I couldn’t wait to tell Yolly.

When we got back to the dive shop Yolly was already waiting for me there and we set off to Five Mile Beach to watch the turtles. Maybe ten minutes into the drive the car started doing its thing where it doesn’t accelerate when you push the accelerator down and just loses power. We were a little sad but decided to continue towards the National Park.

To be continued…

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