TDN Weekend

October 2017

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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Page 80 of 101

T he Great Barrier Reef is widely consid- ered the world's best diving spot, and it is certainly the biggest. At 2,300 kilo- metres long, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living organism. It in- FOXGHVUHHIVZLWKRYHUGLƪHUHQWW\SHVRIFRUDO and 900 islands. There are many launching spots for diving along the Queensland coast, and among the most popular is Cairns, ZKHUHRQHZLOOƬQGSOHQW\RIRSWLRQVDPRQJFRPSDQLHV RƪHULQJGDLO\DQGPXOWLGD\UHHIGLYLQJWRXUV)RUP\GLY- ing trip over New Year's, I booked a three-day live-aboard trip with Deep Sea Diver's Den. The live-aboard is the best option for getting the most out of your dives: it can take up to a few hours by boat to get to the best diving spots, and thus staying out on a live-aboard ensures you can maximize your in-water time. Deep Sea Diver's Den's OceanQuest vessel houses 40 people with the option of XSWRƬYHGLYHVDGD\LQFOXGLQJQLJKWGLYHV7KHPDMRULW\ RIWKHJXHVWVRQP\H[FXUVLRQVWD\HGIRUMXVWRQHQLJKW but a few, like myself, stayed two. Before I get into the nitty gritty of my trip, let's take a minute to get real about diving. I've had many people tell me they would be too afraid to dive, but here is why \RXVKRXOGQoWEH)LUVW'HHS6HD'LYHUoV'HQoVH[FXUVLRQV are designed for people of all experience levels, and the instructors and guides were all truly fabulous. Second, the environment on this trip is very controlled. 7KHPDMRULW\RIWKHUHHIVZHYLVLWHGGLGQoWJRPXFKGHHS- er than the 18 metres that Open Water divers are certi- ƬHGXSWRDQ\ZD\DQGGLYHUVDUHDOZD\VVHQWRXWZLWKD buddy or a group. If diving does prove to be out of your FRPIRUW]RQHKRZHYHU\RXFDQDOVRVQRUNHORƪ2FHDQ- Quest. I boarded OceanQuest on Jan. 1, 2017. Let's go through a play-by-play rundown of my three days so you can see what you're getting into.

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