Day 3 – Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef
April 9th, 2014
For day 3 of our tour, second day in Australia, we snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef.
Originally we had not planned on going on a snorkelling trip but intended to only do the 2 days of scuba diving we booked in advance. Our minds changed yesterday when we were in town looking into day trips when we were told about a category 5 cyclone heading our way. It was due to make landfall late Thursday evening. No one knew how bad it would really be so no tour operators were guaranteeing they would be operating Saturday or Sunday including the boat we were to dive with. We didn’t want to travel all the way to Australia and risk not getting onto the reef so we booked snorkeling.
While in town we also booked a day tour of Cape Tribulation, with the world’s oldest jungle, and a Rainforest wildlife spotlighting tour. More about them later, back to today.
Now, being 14 hours off our normal time our sleep patterns were pretty messed up. We both ended up waking up somewhere around 1am, then finally giving up on sleep at all around 5am. This did give a chance to grab some shots off the balcony as the sun was coming up.
For the snorkeling trip we booked with Deep Sea Divers Den and spent the day on the Sea Quest boat. We spend about 90 min. heading out to the outer reef, apparently there is an inner, a mid, and an outer reef. Then we jumped into the water for a little over an hour, back onto the boat for a buffet lunch then back into the water for two more snorkel sessions in two different before heading back into Cairns.
The snorkeling was pretty good, there were quite a few fish, a shark, and a turtle. There were a LOT of people on the boat though. About 60, so it was a little cramped at times. There are no real other options for snorkeling the reef except these big boats since you have to travel so far out but a smaller group would have been nice. Or at least a little more personal.
Anyway, here are the shots I took. All these pictures were taken with my iPhone 5C and my Watershot Smartphone Housing.
After snorkeling and some dinner we headed back to our hotel room and were pretty much wiped out. I did manage to grab a couple more shots off the balcony though. There is always something going on along the Esplanade. Bikers, runners, walkers, or dog walkers. It’s a pretty active place here.
As the sun was setting I grabbed a couple shots of a flock of Australian White Ibis flying by. They are a very strange looking bird. They look like a cross between a vulture and a dinosaur. If you are interested you can see them close-up and read a bit about them on Wikipedia.
Tomorrow we are off to tour the rain forest. I’m looking forward to this almost as much as the diving.
Go BACK to the main trip page to follow more of our travels.