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The Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling with Wavelength


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24 January 2017 -

http://www.wavelength.com.au/snorkel-the-great-barrier-reef/

I was woken during the night by the sound of torrential rain. I got up to check the towels that we had left out on our covered balcony, all OK. but I still moved them inside. I looked out at the rain and it was so heavy I could hardly see 10 to 15 feet in front. So this is the first experience of the monsoon rain that I have been warned about so many times when people became aware of our decision to be in FNQ in January.

Our alarms woke us early and thankfully the rain had stopped although the air smelled very damp. We were picked up by Wavelength minibus at 7.50 am for a short trip to the Marina at Port Douglas where we embarked our catamaran for the day. Wavelength was chosen as their tours take a maximum of 40 people so I felt it would be a much more personal experience. Today, there were actually only 24 snorkelling guests on board plus the crew which included 3 very knowledgeable and enthusiastic female Marine Biologists. Once on the boat we were all, one by one, sized up for our stinger suits - very flattering; and then we were provided with flippers and snorkelling gear. I also took the precaution of a couple of anti sickness tablets As the water was expected to be a bIt choppy on our way out to the reef. I am very glad I did as several people had to use the dreaded sick bags.

It was a one and a half hour ride out to the reef from Port Douglas and during this time we were given information from the crew about safety in the water etc, and then info about the types of marine life we should expect to see. Although January is in the Stinger season we were assured that Stingers are not found that far out on the reef and so our suits were a precaution only but also to protect us from the very hot sun. We were also assured that we would not encounter any great white sharks as the water is much too warm for them (isn't that a relief!). We made 3 stops the first of which we were told was a coral carpet though we did see fish as well. We snorkelled for an hour and then returned to the vessel where we had coffee/tea and chocolate brownies (a perfect antidote to sea sickness 😳!! ) our second stop was another 30 minute ride and again we had a chance to snorkel for an hour where we saw more beautiful fish. When we returned to the vessel after our second snorkel our buffet lunch was waiting for us - very nice selection of salads, cold chicken, cheese and rolls. After lunch we made our journey to the 3rd snorkel spot of the day where we got to see the renowned "Angus" a very large male Maori wrasse . This, I felt, was the best stop of the day, again we had something like an hour to snorkel and take our photos. Once back onboard we had coffee/tea and fruit and cheese cake, very nice. So the trip came to a close, we changed out of our stinger suits and into dry clothes for the journey back to Port Douglas. Graham and I sat outside on the front of the boat for this and had a nice opportunity to sit and soak up some sun.

I checked with Wavelength the nest the day details of the sites we visited :-

Ray Ban, Bashful Bommie & SNO which are different sites on Opal reef.

I didn't find it easy taking good pictures since the fish either have darted out of frame or I have drifted and missed my shot so my pictures are limited. I purchased the official photographs of the day but they are in a USB stick and somI haven't yet had an opportunity to view them. For the record, we did not see any turtles on the day.
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So the weather today has been hot hot hot, though there was heavy rain during the night and it was a little overcast at the beginning of the day, by the time we got out to the reef the currant bun was out and doing what only she can do and bathed us in sunshine all day.

A great day out

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Posted by Pollyaway 00:35 Archived in Australia

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