Early morning diving

There are very few times that I willingly set my alarm BEFORE the time I need to wake up, but this morning was one of them. We were due to be woken by Eric the skipper at 6.45am so I set my alarm for 6.30am to beat the crowds at the toilets and make sure I was in my scuba gear with time to spare.

It really was worth it. I’ve been struggling with bouyancy – I even floated back to the surface on my last dive yesterday. I did it again this morning from 6 metres, but relaxed and put everything I had learned into practice and managed to get back down and stay there.

We went as deep as 17.5 metres this morning – our limit was 11.2 metres but I overshot slightly. The pressure down there is something else. We saw some great stuff – highlight for me was swimming through a school of fish. Amazing.

Can’t wait for our next dive today. And tonight we are doing a night dive. Apparently, we jump into the water surrounded by sharks. Our trusty instructor, Nick, assures us that they won’t bite. If there are no further posts on this blog, you’ll know he was wrong…

Open mic, open water

So it’s day 2 of the quartergapyear, and what a great start. After what was actually a rather pleasant flight to Sydney (you get what you pay for), I almost missed my flight to Cairns on account of 2 factors – 1) deciding to make a change of clothes to transform myself into a genuine traveller type (linen trousers, etc), and making the mistake of flying Jetstar (makes Easyjet look classy and has queues to die for – literally). Anyway, tragedy averted, and I got to Cairns by lunchtime yesterday.

Cairns – from what I have seen of it – is no Rome. But it’s by the water, and that’s good enough for me. I spent a happy couple of hours on the Esplanade reading and people watching.

Last night I managed to locate an open mic night, so me and the guitar had a hot date in Giligans. I played 2 songs – Somewhere Only We Know by Keane and Abandon Ship by The Sorry Kisses. The crowd asked for a 3rd, but I decided less was more and remembered someone once telling me that you should leave people wanting more.

So, it seems, they did.The organisers asked me to come along to another tonight, and someone who owns the local blues bar asked if I would come along on Wednesday night to play a short set before the band comes on. I didn’t come away looking for a change of career, but…

Today I started the scuba diving course – hooked! (No aqua-related pun intended). We started in the classroom (not seen one of them in a long time) and the afternoon in the pool. It felt wierd to start with, but I soon got the hang of things. And not that I am competitive or anything, but I had the most oxygen left at the end…

And so another night, another open mic. This is my kind of quartergapyear. I’m just wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. And when I get to cash in the other 9 months that I am owed.

RIght, time for some guitar practice before I take to the stage.