Leaving Port in Cairns
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