II always get butterflies in my stomach when I'm about to travel or begin dive training of some sorts. I ask myself if it's going to live up to my expectations, will it be hard, am I going to fail, what happens after this is over? So many thoughts inundate my brain and in this very specific occasion I was killing two birds with the same stone.
After years of diving as a GUE Tech 1 diver, both Rick and I had decided to do our Tech 2 course on the breathtaking reefs of the Poor Knights, in New Zealand. It had all started when Rick flew in Jamie Obern from Tech Dive NZ in January 2016, to recommence his GUE Fundamentals Instructor course.
What is GUE, you might ask? Well, this is not the time to explain, all I can say is go to their website www.gue.com (Global Underwater Explorers) and enjoy.
Back to my story; Jamie spoke highly of this very unknown location that had these incredible landscapes and marine life. We had not really heard much of it but the videos we saw were mind blowing. We were talking of deep reefs covered in colourful coral and sponges, all types of "cold" and subtropical marine species. Why didn't we know more about this?
WWe had been preparing for this trip for over a year, and we were almost there. This was the first dive trip where Rick and I would be enjoying it as a full holiday, it was not a working or training trip and it seemed kind of eerie. How do you relax while letting others plan your daily diving?
We would be traveling to Raja Ampat, Indonesia, with 12 of our regular dive buddies from Dive Centre Bondi, spending 8 days on a liveaboard. Our expectations were to be able to shoot as much wide angle as possible and hopefully get in some big pelagics.
Once we had packed almost 100 kilos worth of camera and diving gear, we were ready for our three flight trip. Nothing could stop us, aside from an active volcano that was just about to erupt in Bali. A few days before the trip we were told that we might need a plan B to get to our destination as one of our flights landed in Bali and part of the island had already been evacuated.
On October 3rd, with contained enthusiasm we headed to Sydney's airport and had the greatest news, the flights were going ahead! We had decided to allow for one extra day on arrival, after working on the liveaboard industry in Egypt and having seen so many people miss their flights or not have their luggage arrive on time, we wanted to make sure everything ran smoothly, and it did!