A fantastic day on The Great Barrier Reef

Trip Start Feb 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 21, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, March 4, 2013

The skies were starting to clear as the luxury catamaran pulled up alongside the ship. We headed for the top open deck, settled down for the 2 hour journey to Knuckle Reef where we dropped anchor and transferred to a specially equipped pontoon - the pontoon was larger than we imagined, but it catered for all levels of activity to enjoy the splendour of The Amazing Great Barrier Reef.
You were given the opportunity to Snorkel close to the pontoon, have a guided snorkel (for the more experienced) scuba diving for the novice and scuba diving for those experienced certified divers.
It was only the 3rd time I had snorkelled so I went for the 'close to the pontoon' option. However it was the first time I had ever worn a wet suit ! What a scream that was trying to get my hulk into a rather tight, damp wet suit. Not the most elegant and lady like views as David helped me on with this little black number!
All was going well until I realised I was trying to put my leg through the armhole, by now I was in fits of laughter but determined to get into this damned suit if it killed me, when finally zipped up my whole body seemed to be sucked into a vacuum, next step was to get myself a life jacket (an extra precaution in case I went floating out to sea).followed by Flippers, Snorkel & Mask & I was ready for the adventure ahead.
I managed to get myself hooked up on the boundary rope and wondered why I wasn't seeing anything different as I had been going round in circles for quite a few minutes - I  noticed David waving with circular movements but just thought he was giving me encouragement signals to keep going - Hee Hee silly me !
Finally sorted everything out and because of recent weather the reef was a little murky but it was still amazing to see the beautiful corals.
We had the ships' Reverend on the trip and he followed me into the water, I thought maybe with a bit of divine intervention the reef would have been clearer but sadly not. David was happy to be a spectator & taking photos.
You might be wondering why the Reverand was being such an active member of the staff - seems the BBC are making a documentary called "A Parish at Sea" which we believe is being shown in the Autumn - Oh dear I do hope I am not in any of the Snorkelling scenes.
Next step was to get myself out of my black girdle, have to say it was a lot easier getting out of it than getting in. Body was back to it's normal state but still aching from all that laughter.
We had an enjoyable lunch on board the catamaran, exchanged experiences with fellow passengers and I was pleased to hear that putting a leg through the armhole of the wet suit was
not uncommon with novices novices.
We started our 2 hour journey back to the ship and after about an hour ran into a terrific rain storm, we had to abandon the top deck and everyone was hurried inside, the crew trying their best to keep spirits up getting us all to sing "Waltzing Matilda". The rain lashed down all the way back to the ship, we were so lucky to have been able to experience blue skies and a little sunshine earlier in the day when it mattered.
A great day, a great experience and I can now say I have snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef.
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sue garland on

Ahh the memories, we loved it and so you will to. Enjoy xxx

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