Bethan Rowsby, University of Sydney
Summer has well and truly kicked off here with highs of 41 degrees in Sydney! I have recently moved to a room on the third floor, and it has been so hot up here. But, the view makes up for it as the Sydney skyline is beautiful and every time I look at it I am reminded where I am.
Aside from moving rooms, which wasn’t hard as all my stuff fits into one suitcase these days, at the beginning of summer I took a trip to the Great Barrier Reef! I felt that I couldn’t go back home after being in Australia for over a year and not be able to tell people I went to the reef and then go on to say how amazing it really is. Who knows when I’ll be back on this hemisphere and who knows what will happen the the reef in the future!? I went to the reef with my friend Ellen who was keen to do an open water diving course and asked if I wanted to do it with her, and stay with her family up in Queensland. I said yes (who would say no?!) but then proceeded to freak out a bit as I realised that I’d actually have to go super deep under the water with only the air strapped to my back and that’s not exactly natural for humans. My worries were put to rest (slightly) during the first two days of the course which were spent in a classroom and pool getting used to the equipment and practicing skills. After two days of theory and pool practice we headed out for the highlight of our trip – two days on a liveaboard boat on the Great Barrier Reef. It was here we completed our 4 training dives, going up to 18m deep. Although I ended up going to 18.7m and had to eat a spoonful of vegemite for it as we’re only allowed down to 18m!
The best part of the trip was by far when Ellen and I had passed and got to go on our first actual dive by ourselves! All through the dives and snorkels we saw so many (SO MANY) beautiful fish and coral and clams , there is literally so much to see and it’s so colourful. Though we learnt that as you go deeper underwater you start to lose colours; firstly red then orange, yellow, til you are left with blues but there were still so many colours and types of fish. On our first dive on our open water ticket we saw a cleaning station where one fish was cleaning other fish. It was so good to be able to watch and actually be in the underwater reef habitat rather than on the other side of glass.
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the summer in Australia! My mum is going to be visiting in January and I’m spending Christmas with my housemate in Melbourne. Though I still find it funny every time I see a snow related Christmas decoration as we could not be further from snow!