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Dora The Explorer
27th Aug 2007 - 10th Sep 2007
I hate backpackers- if it's not bolted to the floor they will steal it.

“Look into the camera and smile” I gesticulate with one hand whilst holding the camera housing in the other, “your knuckles are going white- lessen your grip on the coral….that’s it – now bend your head in towards nemo” snap! Great pose- you look like a hero” as I give them the OK signal.

“Next person please - yes now watch your fins as now we in the middle of the sand storm & I am having trouble seeing you ten inches away” Slow down I signal and “relax, try to look as if you want to be here –god knows you’ve paid enough... and your eyes, I can see the whites -that's not good. calm down".

A day in the life of an underwater photographer in Cairns is coming to the end for Louise. There’s going to be no sponsorship in this city for me I’ve decided. I am relieved to leaving this city as it’s been the hardest six weeks of my travels to date – from the moment I arrived here to the day I will leave I have struggled with Cairns. We have a hate-hate relationship- my sense of humour has been sorely tested on many occasion. For a holiday it’s a great place and in all honesty when I came here the year before last I enjoyed the backpacker life and the attractions in the area but older and wiser (maybe not?!) it’s not my cup of tea. As The Smiths once sang ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Again’ became quite the fitting anthem during this period. The highlight of this inbreeding mess of a town is the beautiful libray where I spent many an hour dreaming of being somewhere else. No one laughes in this place.

There was a point which really sticks in my mind which epitomises it all - per chance I met through my boss a mate of his who not only owned half of Cairns but was a world record holder game fisherman & highly esteemed in the geology field ( I was out of the water due to a bruised ear drum). After chatting to him and discovering that he had over the last 20 years killed many a tiger shark for no good reason he was eager to put back into the environment what he had taken out. He proposed that maybe with a marine biologist on board his boat we could initiate a shark population study off the Coral Sea.

MY GOD –this was it I thought, everything I had been waiting for and working towards was finally coming true, yay, at last a break for me, something positive. I spent days and nights in the library looking at the most recent papers written & research results, rang people up etc…. Now this guy must have been in his fifties & not ageing well- massive beer gut & old enough to know better. I could have been his daughter. Anyway the story ends something like dirty old man thinks he can in-inadvertently try it on and really has no intention of initiating this project. I tell him in a very friendly way ‘not on your life - what on earth makes you think you’ve got a hope in hell mate’ and leave feeling very very angry and upset. I cried I admit but they were tears of anger, frustration and my dreams going down the drain. I generally don’t like men I’ve decided- what the f@@k makes them think they have the right to anything they desire? (sorry la famille- can understand you won’t like reading this & I do apologise for the swearing)

However in the face of adversity I have realised that I love diving and everything associated with it, bar the miserable bastards in the boat crew whom I had to work on most days. From herein-in purely as a recreational hobby only unless of course for scientific research or conversational purposes. I have learnt a great deal about underwater photography and canÂ’t wait to out my recent experiences to test in a more productive environment. Problem here - the equipment being a tad on the expensive side so will have to sing for my supper for a while longer until budget allows!
So not sure whether I told you but as my work had been fairly sporadic due to bad weather, ear problems etc I took another job to supplement the days I couldn’t get in the water. Housekeeping at a rather salubrious hotel in Palm Cove (40 mins south of Cairns- luxury resort), Alica my flatmate was working there too. My god - it’s hideous work!! I now have great respect now for any housekeeping attendant I see in hotels etc, gotta be up there with ‘top 100 worst jobs’….the only plus side is being nosey at the guests.

Yesterday I badly burnt my (bad) hand at the resort whilst trying to remove something from the microwave. Feeling sorry for myself went to the internet cafe today to indulge in facebook etc. I am sick of backpacking and backpackers. Today someone has stolen my memory stick, I went to the toilet briefly and came out and it was had a lot of confidential info on it. Backpackers steal everything they can lay thier dirty theiving hands on. I am ready to leave.

To be completely truthful I am not entirely sure what my next move is – watch this space.

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Diary Photos

Cairns Harbour

View from the back of the boat

Have I turned asian?

Yo dude




Diving diving


The Wheelhouse



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