Agincourt Reef Trip

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April 7th 2012
Published: May 13th 2012
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Up early this morning because we needed to be at the Marina in Port Douglas in time to board the Silver Sonic for our reef trip. A beautiful morning for cruising the reef! The tour that we opted for was to the Agincourt Reef area on the outer edge of the reef near the continental shelf. As this is about 34 kms from Port Douglas we started the morning with a high speed trip out to the edge of the reef.

The journey went quite quickly by the time we were given our safety briefing and kitted out with face masks, snorkels and flippers, not to mention the full body lycra suits!! The lycra suits cost us another $7.00 each to hire, but were highly recommended due to it being stinger season. The added bonus was the sun protection. No need to slather on the 30+ sunscreen when you are covered head to ankle in lycra!! With most of the passengers on the boat wearing a lycra suit I'm sure we must have looked like a pod of seals.

At our first stop I decided that I would wear a life jacket as well. I'm not a great swimmer so I thought that I would feel much safer if I didn't have to concentrate and work hard at keeping myself afloat. I'm glad I did because I had enough trouble getting the snorkel breathing sorted out without struggling to stay afloat!! By the middle of our first stop I felt like I was getting the hang of everything - submerged face, mouth breathing and using my fins to move about instead of my arms - and I could start enjoying the coral and the fish.

Our second stop included lunch and some more time exploring a different part of the reef. This stop seemed more sheltered from the wind and was much less choppy than our first foray onto the reef. There was plenty of hot and cold food to choose from on the buffet before we ventured out into the water again. This time I was feeling much more confidant about the whole snorkeling thing. Their equipment is so much better than what we used in Vietnam. That has been my only other snorkeling experience and it made a huge difference having a life jacket and a face mask and flippers that were a good fit!

After about an hour and a half we moved again to our third and final stop for the day. They saved the best for last with this section of the reef seeming to be the calmest and the most heavily populated with fish.

We ended our reef experience with another high speed catamaran ride back to Port Douglas. We completely forgot to check out our photos before we left the boat. We had the obligatory photo taken as we boarded in the morning and their underwater photographer took a photo of us while we were out snorkeling, but we have no idea if the photos were good or bad because we didn't even look at them!! It's always a pain to know what to do with these souvenir photos anyway so probably best that we didn't look - we didn't have the quandary over whether or not to buy them.

The car was baking hot when we got back to it after sitting in the sun all day. We had a small bottle of water in the car that felt like it would have been hot enough to make a cup of tea. It must have been seriously close to boiling!!

Pack in Palm Cove we showered and changed and discovered that both of us had a little strip of sunburn on our foreheads in between where the hood of our lycra suit finished and our face mask started!! Still for a whole day out snorkeling that's only a little bit of sunburn. Fortunately my fringe covers it up and I don't look sunburnt at all.

Tonight we ventured down to the sea shore where we ate fish and chips for dinner while we took photos of the moon. The moon has been so full while we have been up here that we have been having some beautiful moonlit evenings - once it clears the cloud bank that seems to settle out low over the horizon most nights. The moon has been officially rising at about 6.00pm, but it has been 'rising' above the cloud bank about two to two and a half hours later.

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