Week 19/4 - The Great Barrier Reef!!!
Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
28Trip End Dec 27, 2013
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Armed with Pam's Dramamine, we braved the bumpy ride and found that as we approached the first stop at Pearl Reef, the water calmed significantly. Whilst not perfect conditions, it was still an amazing experience. I was amazed at how high the reef was, literally within the top meter or two of water. The reef was made up of a psychedelic collection of weird and wonderful coral, some hard and some soft and swaying with the tide. They were every colour and some even appeared to have a luminescent glow around the edges.
Throughout the day we stopped at three different reef sites all on the outer reef
By and far the most amazing siting though, had to be the green turtle that hung around with us for a wonderful length of time. It swam right beneath me, before diving deeper into the depths of the coral and then resurfacing for air. Simply wonderful!
During the lunch break the on board marine biologist spoke to us with great passion about the interconnected ecosystems of the rainforest, mangroves and reef. We learnt about how the nutrients that the reef needs to survive originate in the rainforest and are filtered by the mangroves. He also spoke about the damage that we are inflicting upon these ecosystems and implored us to do our bit to help stop the damage.
Our evenings entertainment was rather less spectacular, although, still a unique and first time experience. We joined Pam, Mary, Del and Kate at the Iron Bar, with it's whacky outback shearing shed decor for a flutter on the cane toad races! Well, they do say the Aussies will bet on anything :)