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Taka Cod Hole Liveaboard - 30 October to 2 November 2007

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 2 November 2007 | Views [2296]

Up at 5.30am... sheese - what sort of holiday starts so early?

At the airport by 6.30am for 7am flight to Cairns. Couldnt sleep on the plane so watched 'The Reaping' on the MacBook - lucky we got that, coz Jetstart didnt even give us earphones for a 3.5hr flight. Ah well - the joys of budget air travel.

Arrived right on schedule at 9.30am Cairns time - no daylight saving so we gained an hour - yipee! Got dropped off at Taka Dive shop and left our gear there. Walked around a bit and went to the local cafes that were just opening... had 'brunch' at 11am in the morning. Not bad food I must say, maybe Im just hungry. Took a walk around town a little bit, hot and sweaty - still trying to acclimatise to the weather. Into Cairns Shopping Centre for some Boost Juice. Ahhh..... went down real well! Popped into Dr Tours to book Martin and Julie in for their intro dive the next day and we went back to the hotel to take a quick shower and chill in the aircon for awhile.

It was almost 4pm before we dragged ourselves out of the hotel to buy some provisions for the dive trip. Met back at Taka Dive shop 4.30 and off we went on a mini-bus to the Boat M.V. Taka for the next 3 nights... wooo hoo! Cant wait!

Was wrapt that we managed to get a 3 share room to ourselves. It's pretty comfortable. Quite a bit of space for 2. Which is great because I was really feeling sick - not due to seasickness, but suffering from a cold. Paranoid that I cant dive tomorrow. Urrgghh! Wanted to get to bed early, but deciding to do Nitrox course, I spent most of the evening/night after dinner doing the first Exercise! Poor Vinny was feeling really ill - I must have passed him my germs! Woops! Got to bed still pretty early around 11pm.

The next day, morning call 6.50am - not too bad considering the day before was 5.30am... but unfortunately didnt sleep well - bad pillows. Tried to eat light for breakfast but the food was really yummy! Anyways, apprehension as I jumped in for the 1st dive - which was a check dive with Sharryn, because we hadnt dived more that 50 dives. Bummer. The viz was pretty poor, only ~10-12m at Challenger Bay. Spent most of the dive doing exercises. Im just super glad I could equalize my ears with my cold. Phew!! Didnt see anything interesting on the first dive - was disappointed with the marine life - or lack of! I'm also wrapted that I can still hover. Wooopie! The 2nd dive at Pixie's Wall was a little better. At least there were some Giant Clams and there was a bright yellow Nudibranch that got me happy. Visibility was still not the best maybe slightly better than Challenger Bay at about 15-20m. The First Mate on the boat told me that he was there last week and the viz was at least 30m. Apparantly the northerly winds brought in the tide and sediments. Oh well... cant be that lucky ALL the time. The next dive at Cod Hole was the grouse!!! We were instructed to form a circle and Trent took the bait box with him and lured Mr. Giant Potato Cod over. We waited for ages and I got pretty cold staying in one spot even though my Mosquito told me the water temp was 26deg. Whilst waiting, we saw a huge Black Tip swim past - must have been around 2m! My fingers were so cold I didnt get my camera out quick enough to get a photo. Hiya! Finally finally it was my turn.... Mr Potato Cod is HUGE. He's at least 1m long and half a meter wide. I petted his head and body. He didnt care. Lots of photos and vids later I was so amazed that these Cods are so fearless! Wow... They act like they are almost trained! We did the night dive at Cod Hole too. We saw a big red crab and a white tip shark close by. Apparantly the sharks hunt at night... yikes! Nothing much else apart from shrimps and lots of sea urchins. Oh and Mr. Potato Cod hung around, so I gave him a quick pet before I left. Back on the boat and a hearty thai green curry dinner I set out to do my 2nd exercise for Nitrox. Almost certified!!!

2nd day of diving was at Steve's Bommie which was very nice - saw a tonne of marine life! Saw a couple of huge sharks (must have been 2m long) look like bronze whalers, NEMO, anemone fish, Morish Idols, blue spotted groupa, 2 puffer fishes, schools of yellow trevalley and tuna, a huge stone fish (ugly sucker) and tonnes and tonnes of nudibranches. Itwas pretty choppy when we surfaced and it was a long ass swim back to the boat. Sheese! Next dive was at the same site. This time there was drama - first the dive crew forgot to fill my tank - easy fix, just a big rush to do everything. Finally swam out to the bommie and Vinny said that he had no air! I was about 10ms from him - told him to come to me to check if his air was turned on - he insisted that the dive co-ordinator had checked it before we jumped in. So back we swam, against the current. When we finally got to the boat - what do you know.... Vinny didnt turn on his air... urrrgghh!!!!! Given the option to abort the dive after swimming for the past 20mins, we thought - nahhhhh! Back in the water.... but after a 20min swim I was really buggered and swimming in the wrong direction (because of the current) and we got a tow from the dinghy.... it was really fun!!!! Like James Bond... haha... OK back to the dive... saw a tonne of fish again. This time, saw black clown fish, nudibranches again, a transparent worm thingy, found those pipefishes that I didnt see on the first dive, lizard fishes. Still another long swim back. Must have been at least 30mins this time. Exhausted! We were meant to go to 'Temple of Doom' as the next dive site, but because the previous 2 dives were so taxing, we went to Princess Bommie instead - an easy mooring line guided dive site and easy to navigate. Saw some really nice nudibranches, pipefishes and this cute butterfly looking fish. It was a nice relaxing dive. A 5hr break in-between till the night dive, we got dropped off at a dive site called the Beer Garden. Not sure why, the dive co-ordinator didnt know either. Here we saw a lot of 'night life'!!! I saw a GIANT turtle sleeping under a cave overhang, a cuttlefish and a porcupine fish (a big one too!). Very pleased with myself, but couldnt take photos coz we were in caverns and there were too many people there and kicked up all the silt which made viz impossible. Dinner time again! This time we got hamburgers.... yum... and the wraps were delicious.... onya Jase (the cook)!!

Last day of diving.... Hogs Breath. Saw a huge Bat Fish swimming real close - I got a real good vid of that. Saw 2 blue spotted rays, one really close to me and I got a nice vid from this too. Manage to see 2 pipefish too... and I touched another Cod fish... so cute. Last dive of the trip was on Split Bommie. Me and Ethan took this dive really easy. started 17m and slowly worked our way up. Saw many many many fishes and nudibranch, the highlight was this baby nudibranch... it was less than a cm long! so cute and so bright blue and orange (see pixs)! That was it... back on dry land, met up with Martin and Julie. Found out from M&J that they got really really seasick and took the chopper home (obviously didnt dive). Was starving so we headed out to the food court coz Vinny was craving for KFC! I bought some sushi rolls and stuffed my face. Then walked all around town to several travel agents, checked the weather and Sunday looked the calmest so we booked for Quicksilver trip to the pontoon out at the continental shelf. Hometime. SLEEEEP...... Not sure what we'll be doing tomorrow!

Kelly touches Giant Potato Cod

Kelly touches Giant Potato Cod

Tags: Diving



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