Scuba Buddies

Cairns, Australia is a famous seaside town. The town itself is pretty cool, but 5 km offshore is where the actual fame lies. Extending along the coast of Queensland for a distance of over 2,000 km is the Great Barrier Reef. Built through countless centuries by tiny coral polyps, it is the largest living organism on the planet.

I can't imagine any visitor coming to Cairns and not wanting to see this amazing underwater sanctuary. Most tourists opt for the snorkeling day trips or glass-bottom boat tours. All fine and well, but the true GBR experience is scuba diving, way down deep where the real action lies.

Ready to take the plunge.

I taught Rockie the basics of scuba diving while we were in Lombok, Indonesia. The slack Indos rented us scuba equipment, but the Australian outfitters wouldn't budge unless Rockie was certified. Rockie signed up to take a certification course in Cairns, including a three-day trip out to the reef. I wanted more training, so I took the Advanced Scuba Certification course on the same trip. Rockie and I buddied up for plenty of ocean fun -- above and below the water.

Fantasy Island.

On the last day she and I swam out to an abandon beach island where the only life was sea gulls and fiddler crabs. Tempted by the romantic implications of being alone on a deserted island, we took off our bathing suits and ran around naked for a while. Unbeknown to us at the time, the crew was watching us with high-powered binoculars.

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