Posted by: gardner310 | July 14, 2014

Bucket List, Diving on the Great Barrier Reef-Check!

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Diving the Great Barrier Reef!  Finally.  I’ve been a dive for a long timer but the opportunity never presented itself for me to dive on the outer reef out from Cairns.  I don’t take photos underwater, for the lack of an underwater camera so don’t look for anything here.

This trip  is allowing me to check some things off my bucket list.  Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef has been on it since I learned to dive 30 years ago.  Today was the day!   4 of us were scheduled with Reef Experiences to leave the dock at 8am.  The ship was almost an hour late arriving and we had to wait for Australian immigration to clear the ship before we could leave.  The nice port agent called the dive operator and told them we were on our way.  Bolting from the gangway, we ran down the dock and reached the boat in time to head to outer reef.  

It’s an hour and a half to Hastings Reef where we did two dives in two different spots.  The first dive was great with clear visibility, turtles and giant clams plus tons of colorful fish and soft coral.  The reef was in much better shape than I expected given the other reefs I’ve seen lately.  The marine biologist onboard gave a presentation on the current state of the reef and confirmed that the reef is coming back.  

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Dive #2 was not as good and the visibility was dramatically reduced by the increased current stirring up the sand.  Still, the fish were plentiful but that section of the reef had less soft coral and any larger marine life was staying out of the area.  We strayed a bit further than we should have and ended up going up the anchor line at the wrong boat.  It was a good thing that the wrong boat belonged to the same company because they hauled us (literally) into their zodiac and drove us over to our own boat.  It would have been a tough swim due to the wind and current so I was very happy.  

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We were out on the water all day and I loved it.  The crew laughed when we got on board the dive boat about us getting off one boat and running to get on another one.  Being on a small boat is so different than living on a cruse ship.  Some days I only get outside for a couple minutes so being able to be outside all day is a real treat.

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One more thing checked off my list but I would come back and do it again anytime..

Your Reef Experience Day Includes:

ïUp to 6 hours at two pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef locations

ïUnlimited Snorkelling, snorkelling equipment and tuition (including wetsuit)

ïFREE Certified Scuba Dive or Resort Scuba Dive (no-experience necessary) for everyone who is over the age of 12 and medically fit to scuba

ïGlass bottom boat tour (weather permitting)

ïMarine Biologist Reef Talk

ïBBQ breakfast roll & fruit platter

ïDelicious, freshly prepared hot & cold buffet lunch

ïAfternoon cheese, wine & biscuits

ïTea & coffee service

ïTransfers to and from the marina if you are staying in the Cairns business area

ïFree buoyancy aids

ïReef tax, fuel levy & national park fees

– Please advise of dietary requirements upon booking. This tour is family friendly and disability friendly

Daily Itinerary:

07:25 – Board Reef Experience vessel at the Marlin Jetty, Cairns 07:30 – Complete check-in. Tropical breakfast  and morning tea are served prior to departure 08:00 – Depart Marlin Jetty and cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef 08:30 – On the way, a snorkelling briefing will be given along with a Marine Biology Talk 09:30 – Arrive at our first spectacular reef site. Time to snorkel and scuba dive with thousands of vivid tropical fish, turtles and more 10:30 – Glass Bottom Boat tour 12:00 – Lunch is served 13:00 – Cruise to our second location for more snorkelling, scuba diving and Great Barrier Reef exploring. Great photo oppourtunities for photography lovers 15:00 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef 15:30 – Glass of complimentary wine, tropical fruits, cheese & biscuits are served 16:30 – Arrive back to Cairns Harbour

 

 


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