Due to the time, tide and temperature my night dive is off as the reef’s not ready yet. Unlike with humans, there’s no way to “induce” it just to keep the tourists happy, though I’d not put it past some countries to try. I suppose a few thousand 2-bar electric heaters would raise the temperature that couple of necessary degrees. Thing is, Aussies are huge conservationists, so tinkering with Mother Nature’s not allowed. Unless you count the deliberate introduction of one or two new species into the country and the subsequent invention of Cane Toad Golf, Cane Toad Baseball, Cane Toad Cryogenics and so forth.
A shame then, but not the dive company’s fault. If there’s one thing you can’t rely on, it’s nature. Oh, and women. Nature and women. And politicians.
However, after writing all of the above I found that another company are doing night dives tomorrow evening, so I’m off out with them instead. No guarantee of coral doing rude things on a massive scale, but at least I’ll get to see the night fishes and the coral feeding (the vast majority only feed at night).
My apologies to “Waldo”, who I met on Couchsurfing and who I was meant to night-dive with. I only found out about the other company after I got back to the hostel and I had no way of contacting you! I hope you get some good dives in tomorrow regardless.
Wandering around town, I discovered two things. 1 – a sleeping bag for $25, saving me a whole $5 on the rental price I’d have paid for my two camping trips. And 2 – that just because the pavements are clean and it’s only a little sunny at 10am, walking into town barefoot is not a good idea. Especially as, by the time 11:30 comes around, the aforementioned footpaths are as hot as lava and cause blisters to appear on your feet. Just one to note, folks. Ow. Ow. Ow.
I also finally made it to Reef Teach, which was recommended by a ton of people. Quite rightly so, it turns out. The lecturer, Paddy, has been diving for thirty years and he’s hugely enthusiastic about his chosen profession and the wildlife he studies. And it shows. He’s a one man theatric machine, waving his arms, using his voice to comedic effect and raising laughs as well as concern during the 2 1/2 hour presentation. At $13 for adults including all the tea, coffee and Milo you can drink, plus a huge quantity of very nice chocolate biscuits it’s better value than the cinema, which was going to be my other option for the evening.
Finally, a quick “hello” to Anya, a German girl I got talking to in the Wool Shed after Reef Teach. She’d also been to the lecture and was the first recipient of one of my shiny new business cards that I had done up in Brisbane. Sorry, Anya – no prize. Just a glow of satisfaction of having card number one! And good luck with your Open Water course 🙂
The power is currently out in the hostel (and every other alternate half-block from here to the city centre, bizarrely) so I might not get this posted tonight… Yay for laptop batteries letting me type it up and “boo” to the building which houses the wireless I’ve been leaching not having a backup power supply! Tomorrow I have a little bit to do including trying to book a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi. Annoyingly, Air India do not issue e-tickets to travellers flying out of Malaysia, so the website wants an address in the country to which to send my tickets! Not helpful…