The Reef

Trip Start Mar 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 11, 2009

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Reef Encounter

Flag of Australia  ,
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What I've experienced over the last few days is one that I am not sure I can explain. The Great Barrier Reef is one of those places that you just have to take in yourself. Pictures, don't have any...Words, I will try. Honestly though, nothing will compare to you taking the plunge yourself.
For me, the blue ocean water looks very similar to other trips I have been on. It's a lovely shade surrounded by mountains. It took us an hour long boat ride to get there, which did not compare in any way to the beauty of Patagonia. My mind was excited to see the Reef, but I did not know what to expect. From the boat, it just looks like water. This is why I don't have any good pictures.
With my snorkel gear on, I jumped into this deceiving boring ocean. My eyes didn't see much at first, just some lovely blue water. I swam and swam ahead in the direction that I was hoping was the Reef. That swim was a great journey leading to another world I have never known.
As if sitting in an IMAX theater, my mind tried to take in all that surrounded me. The coral surrounded me and welcomed me to it's world. As I opened the door to my new home, I was blown away by all the inhabitants. So many fish were swimming by, saying their sweet hellos. Each was clothed in the brightest of colors I had never seen before. Boldly they gripped my attention and wouldn't let go. I kicked and kicked through each new room, delighted by all I saw.
The reef carried on as far as I could see. There were many different layers, depths, and designs. My eyes were met with new shapes, hues, and somehow even friends. I hung out in school after school of fish, captivated again and again. I saw sea creatures I had never even imagined, and was shocked at the way they allowed me into their world without hesitation. Some even reached out to shake my hand and say hello. I quivered at the touch, and realized my senses were being heightened to new levels. Nothing in me wanted to leave this new found world.
Eventually the thought of lunch, and the guides calling me back in, led me back on the boat. I was met with the other newbies who had joined the "Reef Encounter" that day. The four of us joked about the expectations we had and the disappointments in the old boat which was now our home. Quickly I was gaining friends, needed friends.
Jenny and I allowed Lance to talk us into a go at scuba diving. I wanted to see the Reef from every angle possible, and diving seemed a good way to do it. Although Jenny couldn't master equalizing her ears, I dove in with little problems. Lance and I ventured to the ocean floor with tanks on our backs, oxygen in our lungs, and smiles on our faces. They called it an intro dive, all I know is that it introduced me into a world that I long to know more.
Not only could I see this incredible new world from the top looking in, but now I could be a part of it from all angles. The ocean bottom taught me a lesson of new oceanography and enveloped me in sheer awe. The bright colors which danced against the coral could again be seen, but also the lovely nemos, star fish, marlins, and such held my attention. At one point we found a patch of sand and rested on the bottom. The sea creatures swarmed around us, an unbelievable sight.
My dive was something I will remember always and hopefully become an expert in one day. Whether snorkeling, swimming, and simply floating along the reef, I love interacting with this incredible sight. I will surely be back. The two days and seven different trips in the water were not enough. You should plan a trip yourself, there is nothing like it on earth.
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