The Amazingly Great Barrier Reef
Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
84Trip End Mar 24, 2011
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I was really keen to see the Great Barrier Reef but as a non-swimmer and confirmed hydrophobe - I wasn't keen about getting into the water to see the marine life and amazing coral reefs. I sourced out several reef tour companies at the Cairns tourist centre to find a tour that worked best for me and was really lucky to find an excellent day long tour that accommodated both swimmers and non-swimmers
As the weather has been quite variable recently in Cairns, this day started out cloudy but quite warm and humid and on the 90 minute sail out to the reef, the heavens opened up and it just poured rain. Luckily, when we arrived at the Marine World pontoon area at the reef, the rain had stopped and the rest of the day was cloudy with sunny breaks with really warm temperatures. It was a great day of exploring the reefs, coral and sealife on the glass bottomed boat and the semi-submersible as well as enjoying great food and relaxing on the sundeck. The tours of the reef afforded amazing views of colorful, swaying coral as well as giant clams, zillions of brightly colored fish, reef sharks, sea cucumbers, jellyfish and squid
We passed areas of coral that were all but destroyed by the recent cyclone, Yasi, that blew through the area in early February, leaving a swath of destruction. These were areas of coral that were brown, colorless and seemingly dead, but our guide pointed out that there were small white points on the end of the coral fingers which indicated that it was trying to regenerate. It was a good sign that there were fish swimming and feeding in that area of the reef so hopefully over time, things will be revitalized where there was such natural destruction.
The colors of the coral and the sealife were amazing and vibrant and you could just never get enough of watching the fish and other marine life under the water. It was such an enjoyable day even as a non-swimmer that I can only imagine how incredible the reef must have appeared to those who also snorkelled and dove in the area. This is truly one of the world's most unique and beautiful areas and as ecological experts predict that the Great Barrier Reef is endangered because of issues such as climate change, over fishing, damage due to shipping lanes and pollution, this was an incredible opportunity to see a disappearing but fantastic part of Australia and the world.