See Jay's last entry for super Great Barrier Reef photos and videos!
Wowzers! We had an amazing week just now! It’s probably been the best one yet! Some of the things I saw were truly astounding! To list a few; a turtle came from it’s camouflaged home up to the surface for air, reef sharks 3 metres away from me, coral of all shapes and sizes and colours (emphasis on the colours!) and of course FISH!!!!!
Let me start back in Airlie… After the Camira (see The Camira Cruise) we stayed in Airlie Beach for one more night. Then we went to the Lagoon one last time and met with Aria and her crew! We played catch with a skipping ball (kinda like skipping stones except using a ball!) and then played a game called Gruesome & Gross where you try to guess your highest number on one of the four rankings: Gruesome, Gross, Smell and Special on cards! So say i went first and had a card called Spider and you had a card called whatever you like. I get to choose one of Spider’s four rankings and then ask you to tell me yours. Whoever has the highest number wins that card and then whoever wins the card gets to go first the next matchup. Remember the game is completely random and whoever has the most cards at the end wins! OK back to the story… After we played for a while me and Aria played table tennis except with only a ball because rackets cost money! Sadly they had to leave so we also packed up our stuff and headed North to Cairns! For two nights we stayed in motels and just kept driving! About thirty minutes before we got to Cairns we turned left and headed to St.Josephine Falls where there are natural waterslides that Aria’s parents suggested to us! They were awesome and i went down them six times one with Jay and Max and five times by myself. The water was super cool (as in cold!) and it was hard to get back up and there was only one small patch of un-mossed stone! Once we got into Cairns we headed to our next place which was 3 stories which I think means non-motel which equals good! i then texted Aria and she had been out on the Reef and had stepped on an eel! Ouch! And then it happened… Jay told us we were going out to the real Reef tomorrow on a real sailboat called Ocean Free! it was gonna be awesome and we were all so excited!!! The next morning we woke up at 6:30am (Ugh!) and headed to the Cairns Port. We signed in and stepped on the 12m boat and then were off! Along the way we passed a lot of scenic islands and also I thought I saw some HUGE fish three-quarters the size of Max! We finally got to our snorkelling spot just off of Green Island and the fish were just zooming around near the boat and all of a sudden a black-tipped reef shark appeared on the scene! I was so amazed/frightened I tripped into the water! It was actually pretty warm. But never mind that! WOW! There was no Reef under the ship but the fish…oh the fish! and then i saw it! Coming right at me was this huge black fish that was the size of Max! I pushed off out of the way but it didn’t matter as the fish had already turned away from me looking for food. I looked up still underwater and saw Bubs jump into the tornado of fish! Thank goodness I saw it because the fish zoomed away from him so fast they were all almost multi-coloured blurs! When I looked around I saw the shark fleeing the scene because sharks hate bubbles and noise. Once all three of us were in the water we started exploring and almost right there looming in front of us was the Reef Wall! It was made up of rock sand and coral in the opposite order. Then we saw the turtle. He had been nearly invisible until the guide went down and nudged his shelled friend! then the turtle rose up and up and up all the way to the surface and gulped some air! That very turtle had been living in the exact same spot for over 5 years! It was crazy how the head was so small on him and his eyes were so huge! I loved the way he kind of floated his way to the surface and when you popped your head out of the water his head was stuck up there for a second then he dove back down to his home. He was about the size of me and his fins were a bit smaller than my arms not including hands! I have to say lunch was probably one of if not the best part of the trip! I will never forget the fish zipping around while I was in the water while everyone threw food off the boat. I love how they just glided up to the surface turned sideways and seemed almost to raise a fin and say thanks! And then the sharks came..! They zipped through the water four of them with their fin sticking up off their backs circling and circling the prawns thrown off the boat into the water and all you could see were grey blurs and those black-tipped fins like you always see in movies circling the poor human’s raft or boat! Thankfully the sharks weren’t big enough to eat anybody but I was still pretty scared in the water with all of them! We stayed for a couple more hours in the water then cruised back with the sails out full and Max and I got to sit up where the skipper of the boat looks out! We pulled into the Port and got off of the Ocean Free thus ending our time in the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World!!!!
Bali here we come!!