Sunday, July 08, 2007

Great Barrier Reef

Sonia and I went to the Great Barrier Reef on Saturday. We took a tour that drove us South of Cairns to the Mulgrave River. From there we took a river cruise out to the ocean and onto the Frankland Islands chain (Normanby Island to be specific). The big perk of this tour was that you could walk-in from the island to snorkel, head back to solid land for lunch and to sun. I took the guided tour of the reef. I saw parrot fish, flounder, striped and neon damsels, angel fish, needle-nosed fish, long-beaked fish, cleaner fish and disco fish*. And giant clams (which were much bigger than the picture of the giant clam shell and some were nearly 200 years old). And a sea turtle. I also saw boulder coral, spaghetti coral, brain coral, blue-tipped coral and liver coral*. It was beautiful, but still didn’t live up to the memory of snorkeling in the Bahamas. I think the tide has a lot to do with how clear the water is, and feeding the fish has a lot to do with how many fish you see. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed the snorkeling, it was just an area that wasn’t quite as active as I had hoped for being renowned as the best snorkeling and scuba in the world.

They also have a semi-submersible boat that they take you on to see other areas of coral. From there we saw manta ray that was about 2m across.

I would recommend it to those who are new to snorkeling, but I think if I’m going to go out again, I’ll go with a smaller company and deeper water.

*: some names made up.

Great Barrier Reef


Shogunette July 9, 2007 at 9:47 AM  

i was wondering what a disco fish and liver coral looked like. :D you should try scuba diving. i bet it is exponentially cooler than snorkeling.

Jon July 9, 2007 at 3:06 PM  

Nothing will prevent me from imagining a fish with the head of Disco Stu, complete with afro.

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