Nature conservation and diving in Australia
Carina took part in a nature conservation-project at the Great Barrier Reef. This project combining firstly the adventure of learning scuba dive and secondly taking care of the Reef. This means that you will accompany sea biologists to monitor coral health.
My conservation-project at the Great Barrier Reef
Already a long time ago I had the dream to learn diving and - if possible at the same time - do something good for the environment. The conservation-project offered the perfect combination out of both and was supposed to be a great ending to my 5-weeks vacation through Australia. That is how I started my trip in the tropical City of Cairns.
Getting the diving license
When I arrived in Cairns I instantly got to know all of the other participants and together we explored this beautiful place with its countless attractions. A night-market as well as an amazing lagune, which was the perfect setting to end the day, were only a few stops on the road. The upcoming days we were picked-up by the Cairns Dive Centre (CDC) and got first insights on the basic knowledge of diving. Also the following days we learnt important skills and took the exam for the theory part of diving.
Great Barrier Reef and our new home
Early in the morning we got picked-up by our diving instructor to get in a boat and take a 3-hour ride to the reef. Already from the distance we noticed the Crew of our new home to wave at us, welcoming us warmly. We moved into our rooms on the boat and started with the first dive a few hours later. It was an indescribably experience. We were just fascinated by the beauty of the reef! The next days we received our open water diving license and suddenly were certificated divers. The days on that boat were an absolute highlight of my whole Australia-trip. We explore the beauty of the reef a few times a day, ate delicious food and in the night spent our time sitting on deck just looking at about a billion stars.
Back to land the next project immediately started. A bus-shuttle drove us from the hostel to the reef-terminal. With a very new and nice boat we rode back to the reef and started the project. Twice a week we dove together with sea biologists and counted certain sea creatures, which were supposed to inform about the condition of the reef. Due to raising tourism, overfishing as well as climate change the reef is strongly endangered which is why we also documented the dying of the reefs’ corals. Subsequently the collected data was send to the organization.
We spent our last day at Fitzroy Island where we visited a turtle-shelter, talked to the volunteers working there and took care of some turtles. The farewell was very hard for me - to say good-bye to the other volunteers as well as leaving Australia - especially Cairns. I love to think of the beautiful time in Australia, the broad impressions, which I got during those weeks.