Day 26: On the Great Barrier Reef

Another early morning for us, as we will be on a boat for almost the entire day today. We’ll be heading off to the Great Barrier Reef! This meant we had to be ready at the Marlin Marina at 8 in the morning to board the boat. And so we were.

Together with 78 other people, we embarked on a 90 minute journey to the Reef outside of Cairns, which is about 40kms away from shore. We were initially booked on as snorkellers, but we had decided the night before that we’d both try an Introduction Dive, as there probably is not a better place to do such a thing than over here.

The journey to the first mooring location was spent with a theoretical lecture on water, diving, air and compression. And mainly about what depth does to the human body, and how to make sure that these effects will not lead to serious injury on us. We were given a set of rules (like, never ever hold your breath), a whole score of hand signals and some exercises for the general behaviour under water. These last were to combat issues you could encounter under water, like seawater in your mask or the loss of your regulator from your mouth. After this, it was time for us to gear up, and get our snorkels, masks, wetsuits and further diving gear on.

I would lie if I’d say I wasn’t a little bit anxious about the whole thing, but after practicing the three things we were taught, I felt more comfortable and even was able to enjoy my time below the surface and on the reef. We were down for about half an hour, and have seen many fish! Everything is so colourful down there! The fish and even the reef itself is full of colour, ranging from bright orange and blue to magnificent yellow, red, white and green hues. Kirsten even went for a second dive that day, while I stuck to just snorkelling on a much more shallow reef nearby.

As the wind had picked up quite a bit, the ride back to town was a bumpy one, and quite a few people got seasick. Luckily, both of us were not, which meant our day ended just as well as it was. I’m not so sure I want to dive again, but having done this here was truly amazing! Tomorrow, we’ll not be on a boat, but in a car on a tour. Let’s see what they have in store for us!