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You may be aware that I am not a huge fan of water.

I find it a little intimating when it doesn't come in well defined containers - baths, pools, bottles, etc. Even wayward spurts from a loose washer on a tap can have me squeal. But I want to, I really want to love it. Given that over 70% of the earth's surface is water, it seems that I may be missing out on a vital and exciting part of life.

So I'm in Cairns, and on the agenda is another attempt at scuba diving. I've tried twice before. It's unnerving, the whole breathing underwater thing. I don't have gills for a start. The idea of having weights around my waist dragging me towards the ocean floor is intimidating. Do you know how many years and how much of my parents' money went on swimming lessons enabling me to float, stay on the surface, and avoid the dreaded sink? And now you put weights on me?! There's no denying that the first few experiences are strange - ears experiencing pressure, the claustrophobic feel of not being able to breathe through your nose, and the mind racing through how odd the situation is.

My last attempt was only a few weeks ago in Byron Bay. Having decided this really wasn't my thing I lost the weights, tore off the wetsuit, and ran as far as my little legs would take me to the library. Sighhh. Amongst books. Words. Authors. Familiarity. Safer ground. Not to mention dryer.

The thing about Cairns is that it's near this spot called the Great Barrier Reef. You may have heard of it. Home to 2,900 individual reefs, 1,500 species of fish, 411 hard corals and 134 species of sharks and rays, as well as whales, plants, cucumbers, and the like.

So one more try. What's the worst that can happen? (My mind has plenty of answers, none positive).


Scuba diving in Cairns: Don't fear the reef, yeah?
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