Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Where’s Nemo?

Leaving Port in Cairns

A brief observation about touring.  It seems that when people travel in a tour group they loose all sense of their abilities.  Even though everyone in our group has traveled extensively and all over the world, there are still those who ask questions about the simplest procedures in upcoming adventures.  Dave, our guide to the Great Barrier Reef, did his best in last night’s lecture to cover all the bases. He had pictures of the boat; he demonstrated the use of a snorkel; he showed pictures of the island, of the boat, of the Reef.  Still, the questions came: how do you clean the snorkel?, how many steps to the boat?,  how long is the boat?, how wide is the boat?, where will we change?, will the sharks attack?  No, really, some of those are exaggerations.  But it is as if a tour sneaks into a person’s brain and destroys the adult cells.  Brian finally said,”I’ll take further questions one on one.”  

Michaelmas Island 

The Great Barrier Reef is not exactly on the edge of the coast.  It was a 2.5 hour ride out to Michaelmas Island.  Brian refers to it as his office.  The island was formed when the coral grew up to the level of the water.  Then, sand and plants began to accumulate on it.  It is now a protected area for hundreds of sea birds.  They (the birds) allow humans a landing zone.  We were tendered over, where we put on our flippers and immediately were swamped by the surf.  This is the first time I have had to wear flippers and maneuver into deep water.  It is a butt-on-sand move.  In the past, a boat has just dropped me at the snorkel site.  Here, we had to swim out about 75 yards to reach the first reefs.  But what a treat the swim presented!  One guy on the boat got a ride with a turtle.  Wayne saw the best of the fish and reef as he swam out farther than me.  In fact, the life guard motored out to him and suggested he turn back.  


We also had a ride on a semi-submersible boat.  We sat below water while the boat toured among the reefs and Dave describe the different corals and fish. The water was a bit cloudy due to recent storms.  Pictures of the day at flickr