Early this afternoon I headed to the Melbourne Aquarium. After going through the aquarium I went to the dive shop for my dive briefing at 3:15. After filling out the paperwork and the dive briefing I had 30 minutes to go back down into the aquarium. While I was waiting another group of divers was getting into the water.
At 4pm I headed into the back of the aquarium and go into the wetsuit and dive gear. Once in the water I followed the guide down to the bottom. Not long after reaching the bottom the huge sting rays flew overhead. They had a wingspan of 2-3m. Next I was lead over one of the dome tunnels. On the far side the rays continued to pass overhead and I was able to see Mr. G. He is a huge groper fish that is around 3.7m long. Nearby were a few of the smaller sharks. Back over the tunnel in the main area I stopped on the bottom to watch all the fish/rays/sharks swim around. Every once in a while one of the large nurse sharks would swim past. In the deeper section (7m) there was a corner with 5 small sharks (~1m long) were sleeping. As well there was a sting ray hidden in the sand with only his eyes poking up. I was lead up near the surface to a shelf where I lay on my stomach. For about 5 min I stayed there watching the rays and sharks pass within a few feet of me.
The dive was quite amazing being that close to sharks and the sting rays. The next time I’m close to them hopefully it will be in the open water. It was also fun to see the people inside the aquarium, with some kids waving. I was in the water for a total of 35 minutes and wish I could have stayed longer. The sharks didn’t seem to interested in me as food.
Compared to the Sydney Aquarium this was a much nicer aquarium. Right inside were some King and Emperor penguins.