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Passions of Paradise – Introductory Diving Review

Created by Julie under on Monday 20th of December 2010

Yesterday we had the opportunity to travel from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef with Passions of Paradise. I have never dived before and had planned to snorkel on the reef and take a glass bottom boat ride.

Passions of Paradise travels to two reef locations, our first stop, Paradise Reef is located on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. On the journey there Lance, one of the friendly dive crew, convinced me to try a Cairns Introductory Dive; I have always loved being in the water and it seemed like a good idea.

For a comprehensive guide to Introductory Diving please visit our Cairns Introductory Diving page.

Lance and his fellow team members also convinced a few other lucky passengers to try an intro dive and before we arrived at Paradise Reef, the crew gave all the intro divers a theory and safety lesson.

On arrival at Paradise Reef we had half an hour for snorkelling while we waited for the first group of introductory divers to get underway. It was quite exiting watching the intro divers hanging underwater waiting to venture out. We continued to snorkel and with perfect conditions we saw an abundance of brightly coloured fish and corals. Before I knew it, it was time to get back to the boat and get ready for my Introductory Dive.

On the dive deck we were suited up with weights, BCD and tanks and given another overview on safety and procedures, we tested the regulators and practiced breathing; I found myself feeling a little apprehensive, but very exited as we waited on the dive deck for the previous group of intro divers to get out of the water. My time had come and I was second in line as I made my way down the stairs towards the ocean. The dive crew gave my equipment a final check and I stepped into the water for the first time as a scuba diver.

As soon as I hit the water and started breathing underwater I knew this was one of the most exiting experiences of my life, the world around you changes into a silent sea of bubbles, you feel like you have been detached from the world above. Breathing was actually easier in scuba gear than snorkelling. I hung onto a rope connected to the two hulls of the boat, it was here the dive instructor made sure we knew how to clear our mask and regulator if they filled with water or came off, we then sank one meter down to a second rope where we just seemed to hang in suspended animation, above us we could see all the snorkelers thrashing and kicking around but down here the ocean was very different.

After a few more safety checks, we departed the second rope and joined the instructor to dive around Paradise Reef. We dived to a depth of around 7 meters and I found equalising quite easy; I must admit that I am sure there was an abundance of fish and corals but I found myself so amazed at the actual scuba diving part, I may not have seen as much of the marine life. My wife, who is already a certified diver, later informed me that she was amazed at the amount of fish and corals. We continued to explore the reef and dived for around 25 minutes before heading back to the boat and surfacing once again.

Once out of the water I immediately signed up for another introductory dive, I could not wait to go again, we then enjoyed a great lunch and made our way to our second destination Michealmas Cay.

Here, I completed a further 30 minute scuba dive at cay and found that this time around, I could concentrate on the fish and the coral. My wife joined us and we spotted stingrays, clown fish, anemone fish and huge trevally, the coral formations were amazing.

By the time we finished our dive it was time to leave Michealmas Cay for the return trip back to Cairns, I had at last a chance to have a drink and reflect on the amazing experience that diving can give you, this will not be my last dive and I look forward to doing a dive course to allow me to further my diving experience.

Underwater pictures thanks to Passions of Paradise.

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