Monday, July 30, 2007

psst...

Guess what,

Im going skydiving tomorrow!

Ha!

:D

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Resurfaced


!!! NOW WITH WHALE !!!


Ok guys, here sits a certified Adventure Diver!

:D

Me and my diving buddy Ben

And I have done it all! A deep dive (3om) a night dive and a photo dive (the pictures are terrible haha, have a look at Flickr). The whole trip was awesome. On Thursday we were picked up at 6:30am to go to the boat. With 36 divers we set off for the Reef. After 3 hours we arrived at our first dive-site and we all jumped right in.

It was amazing! Fish everywhere! Huge blocks and outcrops of coral, unreal. And being able to navigate leisurely between all that: wow! It was really a kick. After the first dive a fantastic brekkie was waiting for us and after breakfast and a briefing we went for our second dive. This one went muucchh smoother than the first one. You start to notice how to control your buoyancy (= being able to go up and down with your breath and as little movement as possible, your lungs act as suspensions when you breathe in and as weights when you breathe out - nifty!) how you can swim efficiently and you have some time to better appreciate all the different fish, clams, coral, invertebrates and all the other wonders of the deep.

A giant clam

A school of fusiliers

The second day started at 7:45am this time, luxury! We did 2 dives in the morning on which we saw turtles, sting rays, clownfish (NEMO! :) and barracudas, but the best was yet to come. After the second dive some of the divers had spotted a marvelous surprise: a whale had come to take a look at the boat and its inhabitants! And believe it or not, but I have swum with the whale :D:D!! It was unreal, out of this world! It was sssooo big and so majestic and beautiful! An unbelievable experience to swim just a few meters away from it and stare it in the eye (some people had underwater cameras, so I will try and get some photos off of them).

Swimming with a whale, that is probably a once in a lifetime experience and it has been the most exhilarating thing of the whole trip I can tell you that! The night and the deep dive were also very cool, diving at night is extremely disorientating and strange, we saw different fish and it just feels weird and even more otherworldly. With all these dives done, we had a couple of 'fun' dives to explore the reef on our own and after that we were given our diving certificates! Yeah baby!

The boat and all the gear

I enjoyed this trip so much, diving is fantastic, I am sure I will be doing it for the rest of my life, the underwater world has so much to see and enjoy. My instructor told me that there is some diving in Darwin as well, supposedly there is a wreck near the harbour somewhere which is very cool!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

btw..

I KNOW HOW IT ENDS!

Harry rules (or does he die? Who knows? (ME! ;)

:D

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Taking the plunge

My first day of diving is at an end!

It has been exhausting and so much information has been fired at me, but I am feeling confident and happy. The day starting with a classroom session (OMG, how long ago that felt, sitting behind a little desk and listening!) where all this info was dumped on us. The afternoon we spent splashing around in the pool, swimming tests, a medical check ('completely fit' was the verdict) and of course toying around and getting used to the scuba gear. Man, that stuff is HEAVY! A weight belt, a tank, a BCD vest (I can't recall what it stands for, my mind is too clogged with info) and a bunch of tubes, meters and breathing regulators.

In the water we had to do all sorts of skill exercises with our gear on and me and my buddy Ben passed with flying colours. Tomorrow we will have another day of training in the pool and then on Thursday we set out for the Great Barrier Reef :D Three days of diving in the actual ocean amidst the wonders of the deep. We were promised sharks, turtles, many fish of course and if we were lucky barracudas, sea serpents, maybe even: whales! That would be so freaking awesome if that was the case!!

But first things first! I am going to leave through my theory b0ok and prepare for another day of information overload and water treading.

Bear with me :)!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cairns! Diving and don't forget: Birthday!

We made it!

We are in the diving capital of Australia. After another 'lovely' bus trip of 10 hours we stumbled out of the bus at 6:45am. I guess Greyhound is under the impression that you should enjoy your birthday for as long as possible! Yeah that's right, today I am turning 23. No longer the double 2's for me! Fortunately after a good hot shower and shave, I can safely say that I have lost none of my charm and good looks ;)

To celebrate Job and me went to the new Harry Potter movie this morning (which was in part also due to the fact that we couldnt check in until 1pm at the hostel so we had hours and hours to kill!) After seeing it, I can't wait for the final book which starts sale tomorrow! I am pretty sure that when I get it, I will be cut off from the world for 2 days just to read and read!

Also, today as the big present to myself (thanks Mom and Dad :) I have booked my diving trip! AAAHH!! I am sssoo looking forward to that. It is a very hefty blow to my budget but I am sure it will be all worth it, I went with the most accredited company and will be doing 11 dives, 6 training and 5 "pleasure" dives! Fishies, turtles, mantas and sharks, here I come!

But this Monday, Job will already be going home! Time really flies! We have seen and done so much, at the moment I am uploading all the photos to Flickr and seeing them again makes me go: "Oh yeah! We did that as well" and "Indeed! That was so much fun!" and "Oehh, the whales! Awesome!" I think I speak for both of us when I say that it has been really great. We were quite a team actually :D I thoroughly enjoyed it and the bond between us has definitely deepened, which is a really good feeling.

So from next week I will be all on my own again until Astrid gets here! I will keep you all posted!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

From South Molle Island

Ok, it is all true:

Lush green islands, blue blue water, white white sand and after I went snorkelling today: MASSIVE turtles, flocks of fish and even whales! At the moment we are at the resort on South Molle Island. We are not sleeping on the boat, we have been dropped here to spend the night on the island in dorms, which is fair enough, a nice hot shower after a day in the sun and salt was just what I needed, so I am not complaining about the fact that we are basically dumped on a boring island resort instead of staying on the boat.

And today we had such a good day! We set sail at 7:30am, and although early we were immediately rewarded with whales! Just alongside our boat a big whale and its calf were swimming with us!! Its size was so impressive, it is quite hard to imagine that the sea is full of immense creatures which you will probably never ever see or notice. The mother whale was so big, but when it went under again, it completely vanished, strange to experience.

The main destination today was Whitehaven Beach. It was quite pretty and very white. Supposedly it is one of the most photographed sights in the world, but even though it was a nice beach, it was still just a beach. The good thing was though, that there was a little bit of coral just off shore and that is where we saw our first fish and turtles, it was so cool! On the bottom in between the boats there was this HUGE turtle going about his business, it was so otherworldly, seeing this giant beast and touching his scale (it is really smooth): wow! Now I am adamant that I want to go diving in Cairns, it is so much fun!

Now dinner is waiting for us and then tomorrow the boat will bring us to a spot where the snorkeling should be really good, so I am looking forward to that!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sailing!

Ok, I only have 5 minutes of inet time left so:

Fraser = FANTASTIC! We had so much fun, we saw sssoo much beautiful stuff, white sands and crystal blue water, enormous dunes, rainforest, miles and miles of beach where we slept on (COLD!!) and we saw heaps of dingoes :D

The group was a mixed bag, but we met 2 English girls and 2 French girls and they were great fun, so we basically did everything with them and the rest of the group just followed us. The nights were really cold, but the mornings were beautiful with the sun rising from the sea and a completely clean beach and huge waves crashing.

At the moment we are in Airlie Beach and tomorrow we will embark on our sailing trip in the Whitsundays. Snorkelling with the fishies and visiting white, coconut palm beaches is what the flyers and adverts promise, so it will be good!

Still no time to upload photos, so hang on!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Packing up for Fraser

Tomorrow 6:45am Job and me will embark on our Fraser Island adventure. At the moment we have stayed for 3 days in Hervey Bay with absolutely nothing to do, which is rather boring, but since I am having quite a bit of a cold it is good to just relax and build up some strength for the coming 3 days of crazy 4WDing on the Island!

Before we arrived here in Hervey Bay, we stayed for 3 days in Byron Bay which was really nice. The bay was GORGEOUS with beautiful rainforests and mountains in the distance and the view from the lighthouse was spectacular. We met some nice people and had a bit of a party here and there, but mostly chilled out. We would have liked to take some surfing lessons, but unfortunately there were virtually no waves at all.

We were supposed to stay a night in Surfers Paradise, but once we got there with the bus and saw all the high rising skyscrapers and cloudy atmosphere, we decided to just catch another bus and head straight for Hervey Bay to have a couple of days before Fraser Island. Everybody we have spoken to says that it is awesome and we have just met the group and they all seem pretty alright and friendly, so that is a good sign. Job will be a driver on the island and although he can be quite the silent type I have the feeling that he is looking forward to that.

After our trip I hope to find a computer where I can upload the pictures and stuff and give you a good account of what we are seeing and doing here.

G R A D U A T E D :D

WWWIIIEEE!!! :D

I've done it! I AM GRADUATED! It is not the best mark, but it is enough, so who cares! It is done, over, finished, finito, KLAAARR!! I am so relieved and happy!

And hereby you are all invited to my birthday annex graduation party when I get back home! You will all know that Jago is back home in September!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Heading off

We are booked.

Tonight, 6pm we are heading for Byron Bay, and it is not a moment too soon. It has been my third time to Sydney now and I can tell you: I have seen most that there is to see a couple of times now. For Job everything has been new and cool of course, but I am getting the feeling that the vastness, skyscrapers and seedy King's Cross are not really his cup of tea. And while the weather has been good the last couple of days, the prospect of over 20 degrees in Byron Bay and the beach supposedly right around the corner from our hostel, means that I can't wait to get there!

Yesterday and today nothing real noteworthy happened, but Tuesday night was kind of interesting. Tuesday night Job and I tagged along with the people from the hostel for a 'night out'. It was the most depressing 'night out' imaginable. The people were either boring or complete bogans, every place we went was dead empty and the music sucked big time. So I decided to move down to Oxford St. and see if the gay scene had something better in store for us. And it did, in a way. It was just as empty and the people just as nasty, but suddenly Job caught sight of: Floortje Dessing :D How cool was that! Of course we started a little chat, the gay guy who was with her immediately snagged me and told me they just came off the plane and were in Sydney for Live Earth. I hadn't even realised it was on. They were all there to make a report about it for Link (which I didn't even know excited either) Unfortunately the Dutch radio called for an interview and they had to take their leave (robbing us of the opportunity to take a picture!! Darn!)

So for now Job and I have to wait a couple of hours and then we leave Sydney behind for all the good stuff: Fraser Island, Whitsunday's - here we come :D

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Back in Sydney

It is Tuesday and it is day two of our Sydney stay.

After a sad and quite emotional goodbye party on Sunday, Job and I caught the plane on Monday to Sydney. We are staying in 'Mate's Place', in Kings Cross. It is everything what comes to mind when you think of a hostel. Heaps of different people, bunk beds, old carpet and party central all night. But it is good. Our roommates are mostly out, but everybody is friendly enough. We are out ourselves most of the day anyway. After our arrival and settling in, we walked to the CBD and had a browse around Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Hyde Park, George St. Pitt St and of course Circular Quay with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. When we came back, we were so knackered that we just fell on to our beds and slept.

Today we went to the Eastern Beaches and had a good long walk along the coast and the beaches. It wasall very pretty, with empty beaches (it is winter), rolling waves and high cliffs. We even came across a cemetery which was nested along the cliffs, very special to see. Well I need to hand over the computer to someone else again, so just look at the pics here and on Flickr!