Monday, 29 April 2013

The Great Barrier Reef

I know it's only a day since I posted but it's been full of adventure. Today I took a boat to the outer Great Barrier Reef. The forecast was 27 degrees but windy and rainy. It was not wrong. We headed out from Port Douglas and before we even got on the bus they were warning us about sea sickness and tablets to take.  Didn't sound promising. As we sped outwards from the harbour it became obvious that it was going to be a very choppy ride. My fellow travellers fell one by one and went downstairs as people were throwing up all over. I had my trusty Boots travel sick bands on. I usually am not a good sailor on choppy seas but was one of the few not to succumb.  We travelled around 75 Kms to the outer Agincourt reef first. We had been issued with masks, flippers and wetsuits. The waves were choppy and we had to watch for the current. I have never swum in open oceans and was a bit sceptical but as for the rest of the trip I was determined to give it a go. As usual the crew were all hunky, bleached hair guys and always so helpful. I donned my wetsuit, put on my flippers at the steps and looked. It was daunting. Anyhow went for it and jumped in. The guy came over and adjusted my mask and I put my head in. It was a little murky and I took my time. He took me by the hand eventually and pulled me nearer the reef. Wow. There was the coral and the predominant colour here was blue. All of a sudden the underwater professional photographer came over and handed me a fake starfish and snapped away. I swam for a little time but could feel the currents pulling me back to the boat. After around 10 minutes I swam back, elated at my achievement. It was cold and windy when I got out. The water is very warm at 27 degrees so nice when in. We were told all about the corals and the management systems. Each person paid 6 au dollars to the conservation system. He also told us about some of the fish species. There is one called the butterfly fish. Beautiful. They stay with the same mate all their lives. When one dies the other commits suicide by starving itself. Recently though they have discovered if two widow/ers meet, one can change sex to pair up with the other! The second stop happened and I gave it another go. The waves and currents were even stronger than the first so I was only in for a short while again. Didn't see too much as I wasn't a strong enough swimmer to go out far. Disappointing as it is the only way to see anything but pleased with my small achievements. Have photos but on cd so not sure i will be able to upload on my ipad.
Lovely huge buffet lunch particularly as more than half of the boat didn't eat due to sickness. Huge juicy prawns, cold meats and salads - yum. Very choppy again on way back but have survived to tell the tale. Fly to Alice Springs tomorrow. Just finished reading A town like Alice so am interested to see it. That's all folks. Xx

1 comment:

  1. Nice wee place Alice, head up to the memorial at the top of the hill for great view.