Sunday, November 17, 2013

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

[Greg] I am guest blogging today, to describe our trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, specifically Adelaide Reef. This is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had! It is not easy to put into words. First, we started with an absolutely perfect day. The sun was shining, and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. We met the boat, Big Mama, down at the Clump Point docks. It was a very long trip out to our diving spot, about 3 hours. And the tropical sun never seems to move in the sky. It seems to be in the exact same place, nearly all day. The wide-brim "Aussie" hat, and SPF 6,000,000 sunscreen is an absolute must. (slight exaggeration) So we anchored the boat, flopped over the edge, and the adventure began. Just being in the sea, feeling the surge of the current, the gentle sound of waves, and the bright blue sky was amazing. Then we looked underwater through our masks. Thousands and thousands of brightly colored tropical fish, just like in an aquarium store, were right under our faces. Incredible corals of all sizes, shapes, and colors. It was fascinating to watch. Katie had a slight problem learning to breath in the snorkel. It's a nervous moment when that tube first fills with water, and feels like it's going to drown you! But Dad was right near by, teaching how to make that blast that fires the water right out. We swam together for nearly 2 hours, until the lunch break. We were actually able to see Nemo; we found a large anemone with a pair of orange clownfish in it.

After lunch was more of the same, but in a different location. This time, we went to the reef at the edge of a sandy flat area. There were a lot of larger fish here, especially parrot fish. We saw some large angel fish, too. All told, we saw angelfish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, scores and scores of chromes and anthers, wrasses, (watched a cleaner wrasse clean over 2 dozen fish!) a puffer fish, clownfish, box fish, grunts, squirrelfish, croakers, drums, and half a dozen others I cannot name. I was the most incredible display of wildlife I have ever seen. We arrived back at the dock about 6:00, and the sun was already going down! The tropics are so strange. I am very tired, but as David Letterman used to say, "it's a good kind of tired."! More adventures tomorrow!!
We found Nemo!

staghorn coral with blue algae

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