Saturday, October 31, 2009
At breakfast, we had to wait awhile - for whatever reason, the service was delinquent. We were worried we wouldn't be able to eat before getting on the boat, but we made it just in time. The boat left around 8:30, with two couples scuba diving and only us snorkeling. Our guide Noel had been on Lizard Island for several years, and told us where we would be going and what we could expect to see. He warned us that the boat ride out east was very choppy, and would be the toughest part of our trip. Fortunately we had taken bonine in anticipation of this.
As advertised, the boat ride was very choppy, with all of the women on the boat not feeling so hot. Crystal did make it out to our destination without "incident," however. At the Cod Hole, we were told about how big the fish were, how the visibility was good, what we needed to do to get ready, and then Noel hopped in the water. There was a very strong current pulling him away from the boat and out to the open sea, so he decided it would be best for us to go to the other site, then come back to the Cod Hole later.
Our first stop was then at "Dynamite," which didn't have the huge fish as at the Cod Hole, but did have really colorful coral and a wide variety of fish. We saw a ton of coral and a ton of fish, including a black-tipped reef shark, giant clams, and a multitude of parrot fish. Some parts of the coral were extremely close to the surface, making it a little tricky to navigate, but making it easier to get photos with sufficient light. We also got some halfway decent video. After Dynamite, we went back to Cod Hole, which was still a little rough but at least doable. There were both potato cod and camoflauge cod, both enormous (around 5 feet long). There were also a bunch of other, smaller fish.
For lunch, there was a nice big spread of food. There was chicken, prawns, salad, brownies, bread, and a whole host of other things. We ate a lot, but there was still a lot leftover, so the prawns were tossed overboard for a feeding frenzy (video here). The ride back to the island was much smoother than the ride out. We walked around the island a little bit, then got cocktails and then went to the western beach to watch the sunset.
The waiters and waitresses were very excited for Halloween, but not allowed to wear costumes to dinner. The Irish waiter, Daniel, was especially excited, and Justin decided to mess with him a bit by asking "so where in Scotland are you from?" Fortunately he appreciated the joke. We went over at 9 when the party was supposed to start, but Marlin trophy presentation was still going on. We went back a couple of times, killing time in between by hanging out in lounge and hanging out on the moonlit beach, but finally gave up around 10:30 and went to sleep.