"" Writer's Wanderings: July 11, 1992--Visiting The Great Barrier Reef

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

July 11, 1992--Visiting The Great Barrier Reef

[Okay. This is where it all started. We blame our son, Rob.

We fell in love with scuba diving--well Bob did, enough to get me to try it a couple months later and we were both hooked. We went on to get certified and have been diving ever since.]

Saturday July 11, 1992

               This is it. Our trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We board the Catamaran for the forty-five minute trip to the cay. After a short explanation of time schedules, Bob and Rob head for the scuba diving boat. Bob has signed up for a $50 introductory dive (I am not as brave) and Rob will dive with the certified divers.

              Before I get my snorkeling gear, I take advantage of the semi-submersible observation boat they offer. Huge fish look in on us through the windows as we wait for the captain to start our trip. The sights through our windows are spectacular even though the captain tells us the color will be better when we’re snorkeling.

              Someone shouts that there are three squid on the right side. All heads turn. We pass over different types of coral. Some look like dense jungle growth. Others resemble shelves and mushrooms, while still more look like giant brains. Hundreds of fish seem to make their home in this little area of the reef.

              Returning to the catamaran, I don the snorkel gear and lower myself into the large school of fish one of the crew is feeding by hand. To my amazement they do not touch my legs at all and seem to respect another body in the midst of them.

              A little ways from the catamaran, I begin to see the dense coral growth. Large parrot and butterfly fish in bright teals, yellows, purples, blues, and oranges swim under me. Many fish I don’t recognize but they are indescribably brilliant in color. I pass over a giant clam. It must be six feet across. The inside of it is like a neon network of fluorescent blue with patterns of teal, purple and white.             

I have never seen a picture or a film that has portrayed the colors under the sea as bright and stunning as they really are. I see my first blue starfish and it looks artificial because it is so blue. Large black sea urchins and cucumbers are among the various shapes and colors of the coral formations. And, tucked into the anemones, are a pair of clown fish, a little larger than our in the tank at home and seem even a brighter orange.

              After three hours on the reef and a nice lunch buffet, we return to Dunk Island. The evening is filled with entertainment from the staff. It is golden oldies night with appearances from the Blues Brothers, Louie Armstrong and yes, even Elvis.


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