Saturday, July 18, 2009

Finding Nemo

So, I managed to not be eaten today. Which is good.

The Great Barrier Reef reminded me a bit like Venice, really. Unbelievably hyped to the point where you believe there is simply no way that it can live up to it. That it must simply be a tourist trap.

But in much the same way that Venice was one of the most astounding places I've ever visited, so is the Great Barrier Reef. Massively doubt. But my God, what an experience.

First off, my apologies but no pictures this evening. I'm at a different internet kiosk and unlike the ones I've been using recently, there's no way for me to load pics of a SD card and onto Blogger. So you'll have to wait and see the pictures we took. For that matter, I'm kind of curious myself. We put Cathy's little Canon into a water-proof bag. The camera was dry, but trying to operate it was a touch difficult.

The morning didn't get off to the best of starts. We were picked up a little before 7am and then there was the 90 minute or so trip to Port Douglas where we boarded our vessel. Alas, it seems I still suffer from a touch of seasickness. And yes, I know I'm from Newfoundland, but hello, I never go out on boats. I like the ocean, I just don't like being on the ocean.

Through dumb luck or stubbornness I managed to not get sick. We then arrived at the first of our tree diving sites for the day. And then after that...magic.

I had no problem getting around snorkeling. Most people were also given a floatation device along with the snorkeling equipment. So I had no problem floating on top of the water and looking at everything below. And it's everything you would hope for. Odd shaped coral in all manner of colours. Dozens of species of fish zipping in and out of the reef. And that was just the first stop. The second stop was even better and the third was pretty good as well.

I was thrilled, but Cathy's over the moon. She's dreamed of doing this for as long as I've known her and I imagine much longer than that. She's still bouncing around this evening, even if a junior boys rugby team is staying at the hostel this evening and making ungodly amounts of racket.

But no, an unbelievable day. Even the couple of small problems I had with the equipment - the boat supplied its own equipment and the visor never sealed properly no matter how many times I tried - along with a bit of sun burn and a small scrape from accidentally being pushed up against the reef were minor things.

Tomorrow we're off white water rafting for about five hours. We're looking forward to it, but I'm not sure it's going to be able to top today. But I'm always willing to find out.

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