Wednesday we were up early to head out to the Great Barrier Reef. We got a coach to Port Douglas and then boarded a high-speed catamaran that brought us to the outer reef. It was a bit too high-speed, and there were many passengers green around the gills – including poor Cora. Before long though we were at the pontoon on the reef and getting our snorkelling equipment.
The water was warm (24°) so we didn’t hold back and got right in. After getting used to breathing through the snorkel and convincing our reflexes that we could in fact keep breathing face-down in the water, the wonders beneath the waves were revealed. Even though the day was overcast the visibility was still excellent. There were loads of fish of all kinds and sizes, and many types of coral, including ones that look like large brains 🙂
Cora’s mask didn’t fit her that well, so she didn’t really get the chance to look under water, which is a real shame – she would have loved it. She still swam for a while in the sea, but before long she wanted to get out – plus she was starting to turn blue 🙂 Rachel and I took turns swimming with Adam for a bit longer, but then we got out to have some lunch.
After lunch we checked out the underwater viewing area which was great – it gave Cora the chance to see what we had seen, while giving us the chance to see more aquatic life. All too soon we were on our way back home – a nicer trip than the outward one. The snorkelling was just brilliant, we would have loved to spend more time in the water. Next time hopefully Cora’s equipment will fit better so she can enjoy it as much as we did.
Thursday we walked into Cairns along the seafront which was great – loads of amenities for the public – playgrounds, barbeque stations, exercise points, skateboarding park, etc., etc.! There were warning signs about crocodiles along the beach – which put paid to our ideas of swimming. Mind you it was more muddy mangrove than sandy beach, so swimming probably wasn’t on the agenda anyway 🙂 To compensate, there was loads of wildlife, including crabs, pelicans, and those wierd fish that can crawl out of the water using their fins!
Cairns centre was mostly just shops & restaurants, and we had lunch while being deafened by the parrots squawking in the palm trees overhead. We bought some souvenirs and topped them off with a few bags of groceries for good measure before grabbing a taxi back to the appartment. Unfortunately Cora left behind a pink cowgirl hat we just bought today – but she didn’t seem that bothered.
Tomorrow we’ve another early start as we head off on a guided tour up to the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation – so named by Captain Cook when his boat ran aground on the nearby reefs 🙂 Can’t wait!