Friday, April 15, 2011

Snorkeling Adventure

I left at 7am for the Reef tour and I knew I could take my time as I didn’t need to be there until 7:30 but I wanted to make sure I found everything and figured out where to go. I checked in and got my number for the day, number 25 (easy to remember).
            We started boarding shortly after 7:30 and had tiny muffins and tea. We departed around 8:30 and it was a 2 hr ride to the reef. I got a bit nauseous on the boat with all the up and down motion so I mostly hung out on the back and laid down inside until we had our intro to snorkeling. Then we got our wetsuits on (for an extra few dollars of course) and our snorkeling equipment. I started to feel slightly better once the boat stopped.        
me underwater. Don't I look awesome?!?
            Finally we arrived at place 1 to snorkel. The place we stopped was a little island, a bird sanctuary. We took the smaller, glass bottom boat over to the island and were ready to go. I put my glasses in their case in the dry container and then it was time to test out my camera in the water. It worked!! I took a bunch of pictures. At times my mask would fog a bit but I still got some amazing shots. I struggled at first though as I had to learn how to just breathe in and out of my mouth and not use my nose. I did a lot of going back and forth from the reef to sand bottom to readjust my mask and mouthpiece. Eventually I figured it out and got much better. We spent about an hour there and then headed back to the boat and had some lunch.

first snorkel stop

first snorkel spot

            Lunch was pretty good. I ate slowly as I did not want to feel sick. Actually I think after lunch went even better, because I finally had food in my stomach. It was only another half hour ride to Paradise Reef, our second stop to snorkel, where we just hopped off the boat into the deep water. I was a bit scared as I had so much trouble at the first site with my mask and breathing only through my mouth. I put on a floaty thing this time in case I had to readjust anything. We had to swim a bit before seeing anything. At first I wasn’t sure if I would see anything but eventually I found the reef and it was amazing. It was deeper than the first place we went to as the first place I could have touched the coral, I was so close. I again took my camera and took pictures of spots the best I could. I think I enjoyed the second place more because I had finally figured out the snorkeling. It was totally worth the money for the trip! It was my first time snorkeling and I got to go to the Great Barrier Reef so that was really cool!
Paradise Reef
            On the way back I took a nap for most of the way as I was tired out and tried to avoid feeling sick. I had a nice nap and then the last 20 min, Simon, one of the dive instructors did some neat magic tricks. They were actually quite impressive so that was very entertaining.
            At 5 pm, I was hungry, but I took my time getting back as it was actually light outside and I was able to get some pictures of the town. I got back to my hostile and met new roommates and got my free dinner of fish, potato and peas. I then ate a granola bar because I was still hungry.
Paradise Reef
            Then I went for a walk around town and at 8pm met up with Angie and Ariana (who live in my college with me), at WoolShed (where they were eating for dinner from their hostile). While I waited in line, I met a few guys and a girl. One of them, Mitch, apparently has family in Buffalo, NY. They had asked me where I was from. I told them how I was from Chicago and we discussed the fact that Chicago is known as “the windy city.” Then I mentioned I went to school in Buffalo. I also got my picture taken with them randomly, but it was interesting. Unofrtunately this picture was not taken with my camera so I don’t have it, but maybe they’ll put it on facebook and if anyone comes across the tag of “Chicago girl” (in case they don’t remember my name) just let me know lol. They were quite friendly and it’s always neat to meet people and make connections with them. 
            I found Angie and Ariana upstairs and we talked for a bit over an hour. They were also sitting with a girl named Megan whom they had just met and she was from Finland. It was so nice to meet up with DLC people and when we all return, hopefully we can exchange stories about our trips in between school work.

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