The Great Barrier Reef, QLD, Australia

I woke up at 5am because I was so excited! I had wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef for many years now, ever since I’d heard of it really. It was always my DREAM.

I made my way down to the harbour and surprise surprise I was 30 minutes early. Check in was at 8am and I was there 7:30am sharp. It took around 1 hour 45 minutes to get to our first dive site. During which we were given a safety briefing about all the various hand signals, how to equalise i.e. unpop your ears, and what to do if things go wrong. There was so much information to take in I was beginning to get really nervous. I was one of the first groups to go diving which made my nerves even worse. I couldn’t walk with all my scuba gear on, it weighed an absolute ton! I got my flippers on and got paired up with my group. I got in the water and practiced my breathing and did all the skills even though it took me much longer than everyone else. I started to panic due to the pressure changes and my ears popping. It was all completely psychological obviously I was going to be fine. Knowing I was going to be relying on a tank of air and not normal air was completely terrifying. I wasn’t going up to the surface to breathe for air, I was staying underwater for 20 minutes. I kept trying my hardest to go through with it and keep going deeper because it had always been my dream. But I knew I was holding everyone else up and wasting their time (and air). My pro didn’t have any words of wisdom/kindness for me. I felt like she was just looking at me waiting to quit. I kept having panic attacks everytime I went under because all I could see was darkness below me. I knew I couldn’t do it. I can not express how angry I was at myself for not being able to go through with it. I’ve never hated myself so much.

 

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I was speaking to a different instructor earlier and he told me I looked really nervous. He was surprised to find out I was throwing myself into diving without even trying snorkelling first. He showed up again after I got on the boat and I explained what had just happened. He said he’d take me out on a one-on-one dive after lunch because there was no way I was leaving the reef without going through with it. I agreed obviously because I REALLY wanted to do it. Serena was going to take me instead along with 2 others. I was sceptical at first about there being 3 of us. But she made me feel really relaxed. We went round to the ropes at the side of the boat used to guide beginners down. She told me to take it slowed to only go 3 steps down then equalise, then another 3 and do the same. This really helped me as I wasn’t going straight down and having to equalise by myself. As soon as I saw those mounds of coral I was so up for it. This dive site was so much shallower which helped. Once we began our descent it all became worth it.

I can’t even begin to put into words how amazing it is. It really is a whole other world down there. Mountains of coral, crevasses, gorges, a million beautiful colourful fish. We stopped at a few spots and I got to touch an anenomi, sea cucumber, and some coral. The colours were out of this world! It almost doesn’t even feel real now. I was under for around 20 minutes which flew by. I wish I could have stayed for longer.

 

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Once I got back to the surface I couldn’t stop smiling. I was on cloud 9! I felt really strange though because it was always a dream of mine and I just did it. I was/still am so proud of myself for overcoming my fear and doing it. It is by far the best things I have ever done and the best feeling.

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