The Great Barrier Reef: one of the natural wonders of the world.
While flying to Port Douglas I was hit with intense diving lust as I looked out of my cabin window at the ocean and admired the countless crescents of aqua and turquoise scattered throughout the ocean where the sunlight illuminates the coral rising up beneath the surface. The next day the whole crew was signed up for a Quicksilver excursion. Shane and I were enrolled in a trio of dives to total an underwater exploration time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. Luckily I had asked for a GoProHero3 specifically to document the most amazing 140 minutes of my life so that I could share it all with you.
Here are the pictures that Shane took:
And here’s the story that I can tell to my grandkids to look up on Google someday when they ask when I started to lose my hearing:
Don’t dive with a cold- easier said than done… when you’ve got one chance to dive the Great Barrier Reef, but have uncontrollable mucus leaking from your nose, you pop some meds and suck it up (literally). Unfortunately congestion makes it really hard to equalize underwater (you know the ear popping thing you have to do on airplanes to adjust to changes in pressure). As I was descending, it felt like needles on fire were poking my eardrums and sinuses, but when you’re about to see one of the wonders of the natural world are you going to let mere fire needles stop you? No. So I took some extra time, hard gulps, pinched my nose and sunk. Pretty soon I was feeling alright and enjoying the scenery in this beautiful alien world that I had been transported to. Feeling like an astronaut floating through space, only cooler. I started to notice some green water collecting in the bottom of my mask…that’s weird, the water outside is blue….I figured it must be a trick of the UV coating on the mask. And it was, but it wasn’t water that was collecting in my mask. I cleared my mask and kept frolicking amongst the coral and the fish thinking how amazing everything was. 45 minutes passed and I surfaced. Shane’s brother and dad were on the deck of the boat then I got out of the water: “How was it Andrea?” I remove my mask to tell them how awesome the first dive was and I can see horror spread across both of their faces. It was as if I was the kid in kindergarten who called the teacher mom and then peed themselves at the same time. Oh god I must have boogers on my face or something, I cautiously pinch my nose and check…..my hand is covered in blood. In fact my face is covered in blood. Cute. Apparently all the capillaries in my sinuses had been sucked to the surface and put under so much pressure that they broke leaving me with a bloody nose that has the endurance of Niagara falls; lasting through the next 2 dives and ears with permanent bubbles in them that still wouldn’t equalize on the surface. Two weeks later I’m still asking “What?” way more often than I used to, but its an epic way to have damaged your hearing, so I’m okay with it, and there’s still the chance it will heal.