Today we went on a day tour with Passions of Paradise to discover the Great Barrier Reef (169AUD). Its a local tour and the crew was fun and very helpful. We started at 830AM and we sailed out about an hour away into Michaelmas Cay. The catamaran was pretty full of people and there were part of the vessel you can lay out on roped areas but BE WARNED: the O Zone layer is very thin especially in Cairns so the UV rays are strong and you will get burned (coming from someone who doesn’t burn that often) so please put on sunscreen and re-apply. We encountered a few Canadians from Vancouver on this tour but for some reason they have weird accents…?
We decided to go scuba diving (70AUD). The instructors give you a quick lesson and into the water you go after being suited with your flippers, goggles, water tank and respirator. So water and me are not the best of friends. After jumping into the water with the gear on, we were told to start by sticking our head under and breathing through the respirator. Naturally, I breathe through my nose so my first breathe made my goggles pop up and I started to panic and didn’t want to go down and at that point wanted to give up. The instructor Steve tried to calm me down and told me to keep looking at him underwater. Then he pulled me, Andrew and another deeper and deeper. I haven’t swam in years so I kept a hold of Steve’s hand. He brought me right over a sea turtle and over the home of clown fish – we found an anemone! He even threw 2 jellyfish at me to hold… They look like longan/ lychee.
After about an hour down under, we surfaced and our scuba diving was over. We then traded in the tank for snorkels and headed on our way to Paradise Reef for snorkelling. I took random photos at Michaelmas Cay but unfortunately the camera somehow malfunctioned for our second session of snorkel at paradise reef with no land mass nearby. It was much prettier here. I swam into schools of fishes. It took about 2 hours to sail back and I was on the brink of getting seasick but just stayed curled up as a ball inside the catamaran and made it through! A few decided to let it all out in the water which brought fishes to our vessel. I must say that it was a once in a lifetime thing to snorkel/scuba at the great barrier reef. Got back to the hostel and booked our flight and accommodations for Melbourne in which we would leave for in 2 days.