Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great Barrier Reef

We are home now and getting adjusted to the routine again.  There were plenty of computers on board the Diamond Princess, but Internet access was very slow and sometimes did not work at all or would just stop working in the middle of a project.  As a result, I could not post from every port of call. This happened at the Great Barrier Reef and since this was one of my favorite places I wanted to share a few of the images.  
This is a view from our hotel room at the Sebel in Cairns. Cairns is a popular city for boarding boats that take you to the Great Barrier Reef.  It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the reef from the harbor.

Once we arrived at the reef, we moved onto the platform seen in this picture. All of the equipment for snorkeling, diving, etc. was on the platform as was the buffet lunch.

I had so much fun snorkeling that I could have stayed here for another day. I am with Wally, a Maori Wrasse. The large lump on their head grows with age, the larger the hump, the older the fish. They prefer off-shore reef systems with steep slopes and drop offs, which describes this portion of the reef perfectly. This water was too deep to stand so if you wanted to rest you had to go back to the platform.

This is a parrot fish, one of the most colorful fish in the reef.
It was a surprise when an entire school of fish would just swim into view.
This was such an incredible experience that it is hard to describe.  I would love to do it again. 
We are pretty pleased with the pictures we got from our inexpensive, disposable underwater cameras.  They were much smaller than some of the equipment other people were using.  I would not have wanted to take something very expensive out there, because if you drop it, it is gone!