Adventure At The Great Barrier Reef

I am sat by the swimming pool sipping a delicious Mai Tai as I blog. It has been a long arduous but sensational day spent at one of nature's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef, stretching for 2300km and classified under UNESCO as a world heritage site.

The journey commenced this morning at 7am, where we drove about an hour to Cairns where we then boarded a catamaran. Once aboard the catamaran we were introduced the fantstic crew, who provided us with safety information and quick guide on how to wear the snorkel gear after that we cruised onto the inner reef, Michaelmas Cay.

Once we reached the inner reef, the seascape and surrounding vicinity was breathtaking in its beauty, dark blue waters with shades of green, with hoards of terns flying above. The catamaran came to a stop and we were all advised to put on the stinger suits and snorkel gear and we were then divided into two groups, those who wanted to take the introductory snorkel tour from the boat (open sea) and those who wanted to take the tour starting from the beach. As it was my first time, I opted to start from the beach.  

There must have been about seven or eight pax in the introductory snorkel, which lasted approximately 35mins. The view under the ocean was nothing short of spectacular, multidues of colours and the corals formed something akin to an underwater forest.  In some respect it is truly overwhelming to see the biodiversity that exists at the reef. We saw many different kinds of choral, hard  ( brain, boulder, blue stag) and soft  the names of which I can't remember.  We also saw  schools of blue-green damsel fish, which accquire their name as they change their colour to green when in distress, "Damsel in distress" brightly blue-green coloured parrotish and several giant clams, and a number of angelfish and rabbit fish.  Time was up and we all got back on the boat where we headed further out to the open sea to the outer reef.

At the outer reef there is no beach, so you pretty much start your snorkelling from the boat itself, at the outer reef we saw more of the hard and soft corals, a Turtle  ( unfortunately I didn't ask how old he was), a sea cucumber, a beautiful blue starfish and a reef shark as well as more parrotfish, rabbitfish and several whitetail dascyllus, once again the beauty witnessed here cannot really be described in words and must truly be seen with the naked eye to really appreciate nature's offerings.

Next stop was hastings reef where we boarded a glass bottom boat for a quick tour of the corals where we saw more of the same corals and fish species but was also lucky enough to witness a giant clam snap staggeringly  fast in spite of its size.

Now I suppose you are all wondering how to go about visiting the reef, one word Sea Star. This was the reef tour operator we used and they offer excellent value for money, at $185 AUD, some of the things included are, 5 hours out on the reef, glass boat tour, introduction to snorkelling and diving, tea, cakes, lunch and limitless supply of water, really excellent value for money. The crew were exceptionally helpful, friendly and really out to ensure you had a great time. Really can't recommend them enough.

For more details, take a look at their site: 

and also their Facebook page:

Any of you readers who were with me on this tour are more than likely going to find photos of you at the above facebook link.

It has been a marvellous experience at the Great  Barrier Reef , one I would not forget and an experience I am more than likely to re-visit again, next time armed with a protective water case for my camera so I can relive the memories.

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