Published: August 4th 2012July 24th 2012
Up before the sun had risen this morning as the excitement built with us heading off on a tour of the Great Barrier Reef. We made it into Cairns without fuss and were checked in for our cruise with Reef Magic with plenty of time to spare.Boarding our cruising vessel we took a seat outside in the morning sun and enjoyed a few cups of complimentary coffee waiting to depart.
The sun was out and the breeze was reasonably light so all indicators were good for a calm ride. Our destination was about 90 minutes out to sea to visit a section of the outer reef. I had not even entertained the thought of taking sea sickness tablets and this oversight came back to bite me with a vengeance. Let’s just say it was a good thing I hadn’t had any breakfast.
Upon arriving at Marine World, our destination for the day, we disembarked the boat but unfortunately with still being on a moving pontoon it did not prove a good spot to get rid of the nausea and ultimately we lost about an hour of snorkelling time trying to acclimatise. Probably the worst thing was not being able to take advantage of the buffet lunch!
Rachel purchased some tablets for us and after some downtime we were ready to get in the water. Once we had our wetsuits and snorkelling gear on we made it off the side of the pontoon and what we saw underwater was simply stunning. The clarity of the water aided our visual smorgasbord and the coral was only a few metres below us in some areas.
The tropical fish were everywhere and their colours eye-catching. One had to be seen to be believed; the array of iridescent stripes across its body was magical. After spending some time out of the water we took a look at an underwater viewing area and then took a short cruise away from the pontoon on a boat with a glass bottom. Our tour guide showed us different areas of the reef and we saw various forms of coral and even a few giant clams on the ocean floor.
Before heading back to Cairns we made sure to take more tablets and this time we made it with no need for a paper bag. The once in a lifetime chance to see the reef was not lost on us and we enjoyed every second of it.