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The Amazing Wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef

November 12, 2014

This post has the potential to be miles and miles long. Maybe because Jen is too prolific of a photographer. Or maybe because the Great Barrier Reef really is THAT amazing. I think there will be multiple posts to save you all the hand cramps you might get from scrolling and scrolling [if you stuck with me that long] through one long continuous post.


The famous Heart Reef!


In short, if you read nothing else I post, read this: the Great Barrier Reef absolutely must be on every single person’s bucket list.  If you read through my bucket list you will notice that it’s not mentioned anywhere. [This must be remedied. I think I need to go add it. After all, it really needs to be on everyone’s bucket list, ha.] Why, you ask, was it never on my list? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it was the fact that my first snorkel trip  [in Fiji] ended with lots of coral cuts all over my body, along with a horrible case of swimmer’s ear that left me without medical care on a somewhat remote island, popping someone else’s Vicodin pills to help manage the excruciating pain. Maybe it’s the fact that my next snorkel attempt  [in Maui], ended with me hardly even getting in the water [let’s not talk about it, I am blaming it on my hair and the fins. Seriously. And that’s just embarrassing.] Or maybe it’s because my third attempt [ in Jamaica],  ended with me barfing over the side of the boat. Twice. [Granted Jamaica was actually my most successful snorkel attempt to date, with me actually seeing lots of cool things in the water. Ha, no it was not barf. That was later.]

Anyway, so snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef was never on my list, even though I thought it would be cool to see someday. So after taking a fabulous scenic flight over the reef (after all, who doesn’t want to see that cute little heart reef in person?) and seeing how amazing it was, and then snorkeling a nice little reef near Hazelwood island in the Whitsundays, I decided that there was no way I could be that close to the Great Barrier Reef and not snorkel it. So I forked over the painful amount of money required to get oneself over there, and then took the two hour boat ride out to the reef. You could also fly to the reef, but I don’t even want to think about how much that would cost. They call the setup out there “Reefworld.” And it’s basically a pontoon boat (I think?) that is permanently anchored there (when you go down you can see lots of coral actually growing around and on the boat chain). Once on the boat you can change into a sting suit or wet suit (November starts stinger season here), get your fins and snorkel, or lounge in the sun on the top deck or take a semi-submersible boat ride over the reef (sooo cool – that’s how I got my underwater pics since I didn’t bring an underwater camera), shower, eat lunch, view fish from their underwater viewing chamber, etc. It’s a pretty nice setup.

*Sorry I don’t have any amazing photos to share. It was hard to get pics through the dirty semi-submersible windows, there were bars in the way at an odd angle, and some of the fish swam by too quickly. I consider myself lucky to even have these.








Now…this could also be part of my snorkeling problem but I am one of the most claustrophobic people you will ever meet. I also have a really, really hard time breathing through my mouth. I mean, I can do it, but I just don’t like to. So, usually I “snorkel” without the actual snorkel. Yeah, I know, I’m weird. I just always hold my breath and go down for a while and then come back up for air. Well, this time one of the photographers convinced me to try the snorkel out and….it worked! I was actually able to use it without gulping down large amounts of water. I think my snorkel mouthpiece has never been the right size. Anyway, whatever it was, this time was mostly a success. I say mostly since I am not a fan of snorkeling out in the open ocean and I stayed fairly close to the boat and spent half the time focusing on not drowning myself. So I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have had I just relaxed and floated around and not focused on the fact that if I accidentally  floated out to sea I would never be able to swim back, ha. But I did enjoy it.lot. It was incredible. And I definitely want to go again now. Now that I know the rescue boat will just come rescue you no matter where you end up. Ha.

Near the boat they feed a school of fish periodically. So those fish just stay there by the viewing window, waiting to get fed. It was so fun to swim with them all around me. I felt like I was a fish in an aquarium.


Fishy kisses!


Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a MUST do if you get the chance. I was blown away by how big it is. There are miles and miles of reef to be explored. It’s like a whole different world under there and it’s fascinating!

A few more views from the air:







It looks really shallow, right? Well, it’s not! And this was a high tide too, due to the full moon.


View of the reef from the snorkeling boat

Hopefully sometime in the not-too-distant future I will bring you Whitehaven beach from the air and land. =) There’s a reason it’s rated Australia’s number one beach. It’s stunning.

***** Can you believe I just posted that with less than 25 million photos attached? Me neither!!!  But they are coming. ;)******


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 10, 2015 8:18 am

    I just love those underwater pics of you. Your hair is glorious!

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