Thursday, February 13, 2014

February 11th – Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef

Visiting Cairns in the wet season can always be a bit risky with the weather, but in spite of rumours that a cyclone was heading this way, the weather held off nicely to allow us to enjoy a fabulous day on the Great Barrier Reef. The atmosphere in town was incredibly hot and humid, so it was nice to be heading out to sea, to spend a day out in the water, so we headed out to the catamaran that Silversea had hired to take us to the Outer Reef.

Although the seas weren't heavy, the boat was soon bumping and lurching about – enough to make me feel pretty queasy. Just when I thought I wouldn't be able to take it much longer, fortunately we could see the waves breaking on the reef ahead of us, and I was spared the indignity of making a seasick fool of myself in front of my fellow passengers.

On arrival at Saxon reef, we squeezed into our figure-hugging lycra body suits (that made me vow to have one less course at dinner every night), and we got ready for our underwater adventure. I've been to other parts of the reef which are more colourful, but the sheer variety of coral on offer hear was amazing – stag horn coral, brain coral, elephant ear coral and fan coral amongst many. The sea life wasn't too bad either – although I didn't bump into any wrasses or turtles, there was a tremendous variety of colourful fish down there munching away on the coral, or chasing each other around, or moving as one in giant shoals.

I've snorkelled on the reef quite a few times, but these are views you can't get tired of.