Dive 266-278: Great Barrier Reef Bucket List Adventure

Spunky Abe, PT and our new best friend, a huge Potato Cod at Cod Hole

Spunky Abe, me and our new best friend, a huge Potato Cod at Osprey Reef – Photo courtesy of Max @ Mike Ball Expeditions

Dear Critters,

I am excited to share a few photos with you in this post from my most recent trip on Thurs Sept 25 – Mon Sept 29, 2014 (exciting video including shark feeding, mating sea snakes, turtles and more will be posted separately πŸ™‚ )

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After three landlocked weekends, I have just returned from my first ever live-aboard dive adventure to the outer Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea on the Mike Ball Expeditions vessel, Spoilsport.

My first ever introductory dive was about twelve years ago on the Reef, and I was super-excited to return to this amazing part of the ocean with Spunky Abe and our dive buddies, LP and Julie Bear.

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Somehow, I managed to rise above 24 hours of chronic seasickness and a migraine between my first and second dives to complete twelve dives and to completely fall in love with the amazing Coral Sea, north of Cairns at the top end of Australia.This trip included travelling 1500 kms by sea over 4 nights aboard the Spoilsport and three full days of diving.

Here’s a fantastic video my best buddy LP took during this amazing underwater vacation (if you watch carefully, you’ll see me hanging out with barracudas at 0:52 and a big bunch of sharks at 1:30 – enjoy!)

underwater selfie

Dive sites visited included Challenger Bay, Cod Hole, False Entrance, Snake Pit, West Horn, Fairy Grotto and several others.There were amazing fish, corals and sharks on every dive, and some dives featured turtles, sea snakes, moray eels and more.

red fish

Photo courtesy of Julie Jones

Photo courtesy of Julie Jones

Coral Sea Soft Corals

One of many very chilled out white tip reef sharks.

One of many very chilled out white tip reef sharks.

Abe swimming along wall

Photo courtesy of Bob Halstead

Me being goofy as always – photo courtesy of Bob Halstead

A parrot fish in its cocoon at night.

A parrot fish in its cocoon at night.

One of the highlights was definitely the amazing shark feed dive! I love these photos of me photographing sharks by Julie Jones and Bob Halstead (make sure you check out Bob’s amazing new Coral Sea Fish Guide App on the iTunes store!)

Me playing with sharks - photo courtesy of Julie Jones

Me playing with beautiful sharkies (seriously, can you count them all???) – awesome photo courtesy of Julie Jones

That's me in the middle with the pink fins - photo courtesy of Bob Halstead

That’s me in the middle with the pink fins and the light on my camera – photo courtesy of Bob Halstead

Make sure you check out my next post where I will share some insane footage of the shark feeding experience. Call me crazy, but the highlight for me was when one shark accidentally bumped into my leg and almost sent me flying right off my coral perch less than 3 metres from the shark feeding platform!

At the end of our adventure, we disembarked at Lizard Island, where we caught a low flying Cessna over the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, the first of three flights for the day to get home to Melbourne.

Lizard Island

Abe and small plane

Spunky Abe waiting to board our teeny, tiny airplane for a low altitude flight over the Great Barrier Reef.

Spectacular  Reef

It really meant a lot to me to do this trip straight after my retirement from my job with the blessing of my oncologist. After arriving home in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I presented at the hospital for palliative radiation sessions 5 and 6 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. I am truly tired but perpetually buoyed by my bliss.

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Life is for living and the ocean is for exploring. This is my bliss and I can’t wait to share my videos from this trip with you in my next post. Maybe one day you might even find your own way to share the ocean with me?

Love and bubbles,

PT xxx

ps While you’re here, please feel to check out more of my underwater images and photos from my other recent dive adventures!

25 thoughts on “Dive 266-278: Great Barrier Reef Bucket List Adventure

    • They really are uber-cool, Ron Scubadiver – soooo chilled out and just like big dogs begging for a pat. I could have swum with them forever πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Tank you so much, realsomefoya – it is such a thrill to be able to share such a great dive adventure with you πŸ™‚ Love and bubbles, PT xxx

    • Tanks so much, riverwriter2014 – I look forward to getting my act together to edit the video – a job for this week, I think πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Tank you so much for your kind words, janstring. I’m pretty sure that salt water is the answer to everything πŸ˜‰ Love and bubbles, PT xxx

    • Tanks so much, Paula! I wish you could have joined us too – we really miss diving with you guys! Love and bubbles, PT xxx

  1. Hi Phadrah, absolutely inspiring to look at these. sorry i missed the farewell, but hope to see you around.

    Roy Dekker

    • Tanks so much, Roy. Videos and photos are such a fun way to share these experiences with those who may not get the chance to see such things first hand for themselves. It’s been great working with you all those years and I look forward to our paths crossing again on land or underwater at some time in the future πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Tank you so much, r@e! The mermaid dancing at the end is my dive buddy Julie Bear – she makes the ocean a happier place πŸ™‚ Love in return to Singapore from Australia from me xxx

    • Tank you so much, madisongabrial πŸ™‚ What’s on your Bucket List and what would you do first? Just make sure for every dream your cross off, you add two more dreams – that way your bucket is always full and you can live forever πŸ™‚ Love and bubbles, PT xxx

      • That sounds like a great plan, madisongabrial! Hope you get to surf and dive soon – you will have such a great perspective of the ocean after combining these two amazing sports xxx

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