Thursday, October 6, 2011

Great Barrier Reef: Check

An anniversary is a good excuse for a little trip, don't you think? We thought it the perfect occasion to check the Great Barrier Reef off our list.


We flew into Cairns on Thursday evening and drove north on a dark, winding, 2-lane road for what felt like forever, but what was really only about an hour. We arrived at our hotel in Port Douglas at almost midnight and headed straight to bed, as  we were scheduled to meet our shuttle for our snorkel tour first thing in the morning.

We spent Friday on the open seas. The Great Barrier Reef is 50 kilometers off shore (which takes about an hour and a half by boat).  It was a beautiful day, so we headed to the top level of the boat and claimed a couple of lounge chairs and thought we'd get some sun since we had some time to kill.

The water was a mite rough, and we were getting tossed around pretty good up on the third level of the boat...but we thought, eh, we can take it! The further we got from shore, however, the less sun we seemed to have. Dark clouds were on the horizon, and the wind was blowing something fierce. (For a second I wondered if we'd boarded the USS Minnow.) We kept getting pounded by huge waves of icy water, which is fine when there's sun to dry you off and warm you up. Less so when it's just cloudy and windy and cold. Needless to say, we didn't last long "lounging in the sun" and ran for cover down below.

The sun didn't really come out all day, but luckily, our snorkel guides were fully prepared and provided wetsuits to help make our adventures in the water a little less chilly.

The Great Barrier Reef is amazing. Its sheer size alone is almost unfathomable. The water is crystal clear and there is plenty of sea life to hang out with, of course. Our favorite sightings of the day would have to be the reef shark and the giant clam. (Oh, and Angus--the huge blue groper who was hanging out under the boat at every stop. How did he know where to find us every time?) The red, blue, orange and yellow coral just goes on forever. We didn't have an underwater camera, but our snorkel tour peeps had a photographer in the water with us so we got this amazing shot of us in action. Christmas card material? Hmmmm, perhaps not.

Other than adventuring "way far away from the dock" to see the reef, we spent the rest of our time totally relaxing and enjoying the scenery of Port Douglas. Oh, and eating. Lots of eating.

We loved getting to see such different terrain from what we're used to in our 
neck of the woods. Much more tropical and mountainous in that part of the country.

Rock oysters and a bottle of Pellegrino equals one happy husband.

 The view from our table for our anniversary breakfast.

 Mmmm.... A delicious brekkie. Please, could someone 
make me stuffed french toast for breakfast every morning? Thank you.
I may or may not have snagged some protein off the 
mister's plate. Really. Who needs that much meat in one meal? 
And the most interesting part of breakfast was this guy hanging out in the water. Spencer was
less intrigued than I.  He forged ahead with his meatlover's special while I grabbed the camera every time 
the croc came close and went running to the edge of the dock trying to get a shot.

I sang, "Don't ever smile at a crocodile," the rest of the day. 
Obviously. I mean, wouldn't you?

1 comment:

Jill said...

i am laughing thinking about you running to catch a pic of a croc AND singing "Don't smile at a crocodile."