Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Found Nemo

Life Achievement Unlocked-

Found Nemo!

We all knew the Nemo reference had to be made right?

We took a 3 day, 2 night “sleep on the reef” excursion.

And this time we rented an underwater camera to make sure we caught everything.

Especially the sea turtle…

What the Great Barrier reef taught us was that our friends we sailed to Tahiti with were right:

Learning to dive in the South Pacific Islands is a really great way to set yourself up to be underwhelmed by just about anything else.

Don’t get us wrong, the Great Barrier Reef was amazing!  We spent days exploring exotic corals and had about 20 minutes alone with a sea turtle who was very gracious and let us take all the pictures we wanted.

Reef turtleBut a storm had just blown through so the water was a little murky and people are right in that parts of the reef are suffering from “bleaching.”  Also the Great Barrier Reef is firmly on the traveled tourist trail and we took a packaged tour that went to well traversed standard dive sites instead of wandering off on a private yacht like we did in the South Pacific.  When thousands of people per year for over a decade dive the exact same spot it’s going to have an effect.

Diving the Great Barrier Reef (45)

And come on – Greg’s barometer for a “good dive” falls somewhere between-

Swimming with a baby humpback whale,

Diving under an island,

Watching 250 sharks school in front his face,

And having butterfly fish poke him in the nose.

It’s kind of a high bar.

What we’re saying here is that the Great Barrier Reef didn’t get a fair comparison to the other places we dove and despite that, it still delivered a high value experience.

In 3 days with 3 dives per day you do get a lot of opportunity to explore and we were actually really pleasantly surprised by what we got on film.  While the reef wasn’t as clear as Niue and the coral in Rangiroa just popped a little brighter, the Great Barrier Reef did have the major advantage of being quite shallow which translated into two very important benefits:

1- Even when it’s overcast, there’s still enough light to get good pictures and see stuff.

2- You didn’t have to dive deep in order to get into the thick of the action.  Shallow dives translated to a lot more dives per day in total.

Which means a lot more cool stuff to show you:

Feel free to double check us and we’re pretty sure we count 8 characters from the movie.

So we spent 3 days doing nothing but frolicking with sea turtles and chasing clown fish.  While we recommend you check out the Great Barrier Reef might we also recommend the Islands of French Polynesia for a dive?

You know, because it’s important to have the correct perspective.

About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!

This entry was posted in Animals, Australia, budget travel, travel, world travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Diving the Great Barrier Reef

  1. I have been following y’all for a while now. I am glad you finally got some diving in. My husband and I have dived the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Coral Sea a few times with different liveaboards. My favorite places to dive was Cod Hole and Finnegan’s Reef, and of course, the shark dive.

    It looked like y’all didn’t have the best of weather. How is the reefs these days? The reports I have been getting don’t sound so good. I hope it hasn’t been overfished. Watching your video brought back fond memories . . . I need to go back. Have you been diving in Indonesia and the Philippines? I am planning a trip to the Philippines in 2014.

    • Greg says:

      Hey Kandace,

      Yeah we didn’t have optimal weather: A storm had just blown through the previous day and we still had wave activity so stuff was churned up. Didn’t have a choice as to days though because Tiffany’s brother really wanted to do the reef and he was leaving in less than a week. That being said we had good times and still got some awesome stuff.

      Looking at your website and noting that you’ve already done the reef, might I recommend Fakarava, French Polynesia for the sea life? There’s a link to it in the article. Also, Niue is only a flight away and with 100ft of clear visibility (not exaggerating) it makes for awesome pictures.

      We did some diving in Bali and it was pretty cool!

  2. Pingback: The imperfect mirror | Coast Guard Couple

  3. Hi you are very lucky to capture the sea turtles and specially Nemo the clown fish. I bet you had a good time there. Most divers like me would love to dive in the great barrier reef. My last diving experience was in Bira Dive Camp Indonesia. It was amazing too but your’s is the best. Thank you for the images you shared.

Comments are closed.