I never imagined my very first scuba diving experience would be in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system! I remember, Jason and I explored the beautiful corals and aquatic life with 2 other divers and our dive master. We got a very quick introduction about how to dive. Before entering the waters, I wasn’t feeling absolutely confident about my diving abilities so I felt nervous. But yet, I was also excited because this was going to be a new adventure!
The experience of seeing the underwater world for the very first time was absolutely incredible! I remember my senses being so captivated by the numerous colorful fish and corals. I had entered this amazing new world. I truly felt time had stopped, and nothing else mattered except my curiosity for this fascinating aquatic world. I was so present. In fact, I was so enthralled by the underwater life, that I actually lost sight of all the other divers for a brief moment.
When I realized I was alone, I strangely felt pleased at first. I was thrilled that I was all alone enjoying and appreciating the beauty of marine life. However, when I started feeling disoriented in this enchanting but foreign world, I felt a pang of panic. My heavy breathing began affecting my buoyancy and from somewhere my vigilant dive master quickly arrived to help me.
The rest of the dive was smooth sailing. So, that was my first scuba diving experience. I will always remember that brief but special moment, when I was all alone in the world’s largest coral reef system!
Situated off the central coast of Queensland, Australia lie the pristine Whitsunday Islands. These 74 islands make a stunning archipelago at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. However, all year around, within these gorgeous waters lie numerous deadly jellyfish. The two main stingers found within this area are the Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji Jellyfish. The Box Jellyfish produces potent venom and is one of the most deadly creatures in the world. Its sting causes immediate severe pain and sometimes even death. The Irukandji jellyfish, whose body is transparent, has been known to cause serious illnesses to humans. Although an encounter with these jellyfish may be rare, it is always better to take precautions.
Since we were visiting during the higher risk season for encountering jellyfish, we were advised to wear stinger suits for protection. We could not resist the temptation of the beautiful waters, so we put on our stinger suits, and took the risk. Luckily, we ended up having a wonderful day in a tropical paradise!