The main attraction of our epic drive up the east coast of Queensland was, of course, The Great Barrier Reef.
We were lucky enough to book the last two spots on a tour for the Great Barrier Reef with Adrenalin Dive. We sailed off from Townsville 6.30am on Thursday 7 February, we stopped off to pick up further passengers at Magnetic Island. Which, by the way, we wished that we had more time so that we could have stayed over there a night. It took us about 3 hours to get to the reef and we were fed snacks and fresh fruit on the way, very much needed when you have a 5.30am start and you’re on the sea. There was not a cloud in sight, so it was a scorching day. Once at the reef we were briefed on the snorkelling and diving, given information about the reef and the fish. We put all our gear on, including stinger suits. Mainly to prevent sunburn, but also to protect against jelly fish.
We did have a disposable underwater camera with us, but we haven’t developed those photos yet, so I can’t share any of the fantastic views we saw on the day. But you may wonder, did it live up to my expectations? Yes it did! It was like Mat had already described it to me; “like sticking your head into an aquarium”. It was incredible to see all the exotic and brightly coloured fish swimming around minding their own business. There were fish of the colours of the rainbow, there were clown fish (Nemo), zebra fish, royal blue starfish, Cosmic fish, everything. I even saw a White Tip Reef Shark! It was definitely something out of this world, it was so cute seeing all the different fish looking like a community, some where cleaning coral, others looked like they were attending class, just like in the film ‘Finding Nemo’. The coral however wasn’t as brightly coloured as I thought they would be, but it didn’t matter as the fish more than made up for it. And I think the reef differs in colours depending on where you are too.
It was a little bit hard snorkelling, as there was quite a bit of a currant, so you where paddling and paddling but not really going anywhere I also managed to swallow a fair bit of salt water, not very nice. But the iced lemon water on board of the boat helped to neutralise my mouth. We had a lunch break on board of the boat and the staff told us more information about the different fish that we had seen and also about the scary current black market for shark fins in asia.
I feel really blessed to have seen this natural phenomenon before it vanishes. But we can all do our bit to help, by not littering. For no matter where you live in the world, if you litter it will most likely end up in the sea and it will most probably damage marine wild life. Every little helps!