23 Jan 2016

Heading Down Under - Aussie Land by valeriepeltier

12/29

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Awake before the alarm, I stumble out of bed and begin to gather my things that I had set out the night before.
Today we were going snorkelling in the a Great Barrier Reef!
I was ready and eager to set out for the bus. As we approached the bus there were already a few people sitting there waiting in order to be at work on time. This morning the bus was running a little late due to a new driver which we were reassured with later on. Glad that we had gone a little early to wait for the earlier bus of the two, regardless we were on our way and still with a little time to spare yet.
Approaching the line ups we set out to find the tour we had signed up for. Passing the masses of people we wandered until we found ours happy to see that there were few people in our line.
All signed in to the Big Cat Green Island tour we showed our boarding passes, smiled for our picture and grabbed a seat I the air conditioned lobby of the boat. Starting out the seats we had chosen were good, until the boat began moving. I realized quickly that there was no way I was going to last for an hour and a half sitting backwards, so we got up and switched seats so I could face forward and possibly feel a little less motion sickness.

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Pulling up to the island we made our way to the upper deck to get a better view and brave the sunshine. With all our gear in hand we took a few photos and made our way to the middle level in order to get off the boat before the crowd of people inside tried.
While waiting for the boat to be docked we spotted a turtle swimming next to the boat in the reef below us, and made it our personal mission to try and spot a turtle in amongst the reef with our snorkel gear.
All suited up we took our funny photo and waddled backwards into the water making our way over to the sections of reef to spot fish and other marine life.
As we swam over it was quite apparent that the jellies (stingers) were in season as they were warning us on the boat ride over. We swam cautiously and found that we were focusing mostly on watching for the jellies instead of looking to spot the fish swimming through the reef.
With our suits on covering our entire body with the exception of our faces we felt a little more protected but we're still paranoid at getting stung.
When we got out for lunch we found a shady spot in the shade then wandered the forest path to explore the island. When we arrived back at the beach to go for a second round of snorkelling the tide had switched and was going out this time. Much shallower now we waddled out again following more of the reef this time around and found that with the tide gone out the jellies also went out and we were able to enjoy and explore the reef with a lot less worry. Spotting many fish with different colour combinations and patterns, starfish, stingrays and other swimmers.
When we. Are our way back towards the shore it had gotten quite shallow and we were swimming quite close to the ocean floor, we had a colourful visitor approach us first swimming near me and then began to start running into my flippers head first. I tried to swim away so I would t hurt it and he followed continuously tapping against my fins. I found out shortly after telling Lauren that the same thing happened to her as well. Laughing about it we walked back to shore as it was too shallow to swim now.
Content with our snorkelling session we packed up our things and made our way back to the boat to rest in the air conditioning.