Australia: QL: 19-22/07/04: Dive liveaboard to Wheeler Reef (GBR) and Yongala wreck

This time, no cancellation for the liveaboard. As planned, we (12 divers and 5 staff) boarded the boat in the evening.

As there were spare rooms, I requested a rom for myself which they agreed. It’s always nice to have that littl bit of extra space on a boat.
The whole night, we are heading to an outer part of the Great Barrier Reef, Wheeler Reef. There we would spend the first 2 days of diving. I was teamed up with Hannes, a German marine biologist. It worked out very well under water. I enjoyed the diving a lot: there was a big variety of fishlife and the coral was still in a healthy state (which is not everywhere the case on the GBR). We saw school of barracuda, sharks, turtles, eagle ray and the other smaller reeffishes, nudibranches, … Even during the nightdives, we saw sharks.

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The last day was then the highlight of the trip (also the reason for me to go on this trip) : the Yongala wreck. The wind was picking up the evening before, so we were warned that it could be rough, even such that it would maybe not be possible to dive the wreck. We all voted to go anyway. The trip to the wreck took longer than expected so we arrived only at 9 in the morning. The boat was dancing up and down, but we could dive. I started to feel a bit seasick but after 15 minutes outside, it went luckily away. Quickly prepared ourselves and off we went. A rough surface swim and we could go down. The visibility was not so good than 5 days ago, but it still is an amazing dive: 2 meter sized grouper, big schools of fish, very nice corals, and at the end, 2 giant stingrays. I still had enough air so dropped deeper again to approach them. Waauw, they were enormous. And then back to the suface were we really had to time carefully to climb back on the boat, because the waves made the boat go up and down a lot.

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We could only do 1 dive at the wreck, instead of the 2 dives foreseen. But this could not spoil my trip. It was a good way to end the diving of my holiday. Especially, back on the boat, we saw a humpbackwhale coming out of the water a few times. We actually heard them while diving as well, but I didn’t realise that the sound was from the whales. It gave an extra dimension to dive at a wreck when hearing these noises (spooky).
Now, I just need to head to Brisbane to catch the flight back home. I am sure I will come back to do more diving from Townsville south to Sydney.

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