3rd June - Great Barrier Reef
From Port Douglas you can get to the Outer Barrier Reef, so we booked a day trip with the company recommended by Diane, Quicksilver, who have a permanent platform anchored out at Agincourt Reef.
They take you out there on a high-speed catamaran that skims along at 35 knots. Their platform has an underwater observatory, two semi-submersibles & large submerged diving platform from which it is very easy to dive & snorkel.
We went on the semi-submersible, which is like a large glass coffin suspended below the sea, which cruised around just above the coral – a bit tame really.
The snorkelling was good; I spent hours out there just drifting over the coral. Barbara said that one of the passengers got alarmed & thought I had died because I wasn't moving - I hadn't died though.
However, most of the fish kept near the platform – because that's where they fed them, so it got a bit crowded with snorkelers bumping into each other.
For those who didn’t want to get their hair wet, they had glass helmets that sat on your shoulders, fed by piped air – they looked like "Buzz Lightyear" from Toy Story. You could only stand on an underwater platform & watch any fish that went by, not very exciting.
The platform had its own tame Napoleon Maori Wrasse that was the star of the hand feeding sessions, leaping out of the water to take fish out of the hand of the crew member. These feeding sessions were great for those snorkelling nearby as the sea boiled with fish.