Once upon a time, when I was a teenager, I was sent unwillingly (hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it?) to West Papua to visit a family member who was working up there on a job contract. I hadn’t been a certified diver for very long at the time, and only managed to get in a handful of dives down near Misool. I’m not sure how my feelings about the diving were coloured by the fact I was a bratty high school senior who really didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, but I remember thinking it was totally overrated compared to the Great Barrier Reef (where I’d learned to dive in the first place). Bearing in mind that that trip was almost 20 years ago when diving in that region was in its very infancy, and I was an obnoxious teenager…This year I thought it was about time to return to go and do it properly – and with a camera!
Every year, the Great Barrier Reef is host to a mass coral spawning event. It occurs 4-5 nights after the full moon between late October and early December, coincident with the water temperatures having gradually risen to a warm enough temperature to trigger the eggs and sperm to mature within the corals – generally once water temps have reached consistent 26C for the month prior to the full moon, so the exact dates vary from year to year depending on the lunar cycle and how early it warms up after winter. While there is still some uncertainty about why it happens, it happens like clockwork every year. In 2015, the required conditions occurred on the night of November 29th.
Some people say home is a feeling, rather than a place. This is why I call London home. More than anywhere else in the world I’ve ever travelled or lived, London brings me that sense of happiness and contentment.
Parlez-vous Anglais? Non?
Yeah, that about sums me up. I’ve tried to learn French, but with having a history with both Italian and Spanish at different points in my life, I always struggle with it. I start counting to 10 in French, and by 6 I’ve usually defaulted back to Spanish. I know enough to get by though.
People have been telling me for years that I have to go to Chuuk. I finally caved. Look, I’ll be honest – I’d dived on a couple of wrecks before and never really been all that impressed. I’d dived the Liberty wreck at Tulamben, I’d dived the SS Yongala near Townsville, both of which people seem to consider “world class” wreck dives. I’d also dived various other small wrecks as one-off dives on my travels. And…Meh. To all of them. But as people told me, Chuuk is different! I admit up front that I thought I’d be bored out of my mind in Chuuk after a couple of days.
A bunch of random photos that I took while living in Perth…
It was a pretty place to live, and I conveniently happened to live in a nice part of town. But I’m glad to be gone. Perth is apparently a great place to live if you’ve got a big support network. I didn’t, and while I loved my job, living in Perth was not an enjoyable experience for me.
Yeah, it’s been a whole 18 years since the last time I dived the Yongala. Believe it or not, this is where I actually did my Advanced Open Water certification many moons ago. Ah, the memories. I seem to recall not paying a whole lot of attention to the dive at the time because I was so focused on the course. This time, I intended to actually enjoy the dive!