Wow! Since we arrived in Oz last Thursday it’s all gone totally nuts!

We got on the plane to the Gold Coast on Wednesday evening and arrived early Thursday morning, hopped in a taxi and headed to our hostel. We spent the day on the beach, and by the hostel’s pool(!)

Up super early for the flight to Townsville, unfortunately this was via Sydney of all places – so much for keeping the carbon footprint low! – and we arrived mid morning to 15degrees C weather. After 30-35 and 90% humidity we had got used to in Asia, this was a bit of a shock to the system.

We were met at the airport by one of the divemasters, took our stuff to our hostel and headed straight to the Remote Area Dive school which has quickly become our home from home.

We collected our Rescue Diver packs, and set to work on the theory, so that we could do the practical side ASAP. This consisted of half a day in the pool learning the rescue skills and then the next day we headed out of town a bit to the Ross River to complete our open water training in zero visibility – even worse than Stoney Cove, the flooded quarry where we learned to dive in the first place – and contending with pond weed and lily pads which seemed determined to slow us down. Recovering a diver lying on the bottom when you can’t see past your own nose is a challenge to say the least.

And as Stef will tell you, finding a fin is even harder – impossible in fact! Secretly I think he just wanted new fins…

Today we put all our hard work to the test, with our Rescue Diver exam. Which we both passed with flying colours!

No rest for the weary though – last thing, Craig, our boss and the owner of the dive school, gave us our Dive Master pack. This consists of a divemaster manual, an encyclopaedia of diving, an instructor manual and a knowledge workbook, amongst others.

And we also got our RAD Crew shirts officially making us part of the team.

I have a feeling that this is where the hard work begins!

Oh finally. We have found a house- a beautiful queenslander with a mango tree in the garden, very nice housemates which includes a large friendly dog on a quiet street 5 minutes from the beach!