Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
Why do most people come to Cairns? It’s not because of the beaches – there are only mud flats – it’s for the accessibility to the Great Barrier Reef. The trips range in value from $200 for a day trip to the one we found for $60 an adult. Compass has a reputation for being on the oldest boat but the crew we had all day made sure we had such a laugh you didn’t miss air conditioning (who needs it on a boat when you are moving) and hot water showers.
It takes a couple of hours to reach the outer reef, through surprisingly murky waters and lots of islands. We had 2 different site visits and from the moment that you enter the water, which had thankfully changed colour to a clear turquoise, it’s like a different world. The coral is technicolour and the reef is very shallow so you see so much. There are over 600 varieties of fish and we saw so many – angel fish, Nemo, big ones, green and turquoise ones just sooo many. To actually watch the coral moving and the fish dart in and out was amazing. You don’t really need to swim far you just glide and watch as the world beneath you unfolds.
O and I also ticked another on the Top 10 things to do list – we had an introductory scuba dive. We could not persuade Josh who was more than happy to keep on snorkelling. I was really nervous but there were only 4 in our group and the instructor was very patient. Breathing was the first issue – your brain takes a minute to adjust to it but then it was OK. The ears were something else – each time you go down you have to equalise the pressure by blowing them out – mine would not go and it took about 10 minutes to get used to it and make my ears work properly but by then we were swimming by ourselves. You really get a different perspective and we touched the giant clams so they shut and finally found Nemo! If I ever get the money I would love to learn properly as there is so much more freedom with it, but alas it was over before we knew it and off to the other reef site.
The other site was near to a nesting turtles site but still for poor O there were no turtles to be seen. We did see a couple of reef sharks which was quite exciting. It did not help that some bloke behind me thought it would be funny to grab my foot – I nearly jumped a mile out of the water. It was a shame when we got called back into the boat but a glass of wine helped!
All in all it was a great day and it has to be the best snorkelling to date – we saw so much and the colours were fabulous.