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It was top of my life-experience list - snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef

This is a small post about a big experience.

One of the things I wanted to do most when I booked this trip around the world was snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef.

And ... tick ... promise to self has been kept.

The Windsor sisters and I joined the British undertakers, Brian and Ivan, on this excursion. Brian is an experienced snorkeller. The other three ... not so much. Virginia can't swim. And Josie and Ivan mostly paddle around when faced with an opportunity to get in the water. This is us on the Poesia as we set out.

But the tour promised a glass-bottomed boat and a submarine for those who did not want to don mask and fins. So we set off on a large catamaran from Cairns in northern Australia with about 300 other folks at 10:30 am on Friday.

The tour took us an hour and a half out into to sea where there is a platform from which snorkellers and divers can enter the water.

Now, let me state at the outset that this is not one the best parts of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a part that has largely been killed over time through human trampling and global warming. And we were restricted to a relatively small area. So we were not actually harming pristine reef. Which I felt good about.

But neither did we see the vibrant colors that I have seen in National Geographic documentaries - and which fueled my interest in snorkelling here.

Josie had never snorkelled before and she bravely took the plunge. Brian and I - Brian especially - helped her get into the gear and relax enough to do the mouth breathing. And she did wonderfully!

Brian had one of those fancy full-faced masks that I now plan to purchase. My own mask, which was given out by the tour operators, was really bad - it kept fogging up and causing me problems.

Even so, I could see enough to be blown away with the coral below. And, while there were not a lot of fish, there were still enough of them, and in vibrant hues, to make it interesting. I was just not proficient enough yet with my under-water camera to catch good pictures before they swam away. (Not sure whose flippers those are but they were not standing on the coral ... it's just bad perspective).

We floated over the reef for a little more than an hour, then went back aboard the ship for lunch and the trip home.

It was a short day - and maybe not the full experience I had dreamed of - but pretty awesome nonetheless.

Last time I posted, I said we were off to Brisbane. We did land in that port. But, because port was so far from town, because there was not a lot in Brisbane that I had to see, because buses were so slow and traffic was said to be so bad, and because we had to be back on the ship by 1:30 pm for a ridiculously early departure time 😳 ... I opted to spend the day on board reading and sunning and playing cards.

And now we are off to Papua New Guinea, followed by Manilla an Taiwan ... and then eight days in Japan.

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canuhead
Mar 06, 2023

argh, you never got to see Melbourne ! hope you get to go back to Aus again and see this beautiful city. very European feel, esp if you love cafe life. snorkelling the reef must have been awesome though !


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gloria139
Mar 06, 2023
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It was! And I DO intend to go back to Australia … and I will visit Melbourne 😊

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