I don't even know how to put into words how AMAZING today was. I have never seen something as truly breathtaking as what I saw today. It is unreal to me to think that there are hundreds of miles of this natural wonder and I only explored a piece of it today! The great barrier reef is truly a sight to see.
Our day started bright and early, dad and I ate breakfast then loaded up on the boat called the "silverswift" at 8 am and were off to the reef by 8:30. There were about 30 people going out with us, so it wasn't too crowded which was really nice! Dad was reallly skeptical about going out today because the winds were.... brace yourself.... blowing 25 to 30 knots. Dad is BIG on wind and so he was really against going today but this was the best day seeing as the wind is projected to only pick up from here. I am glad I have dad to keep my head straight because I was like 25 to 30 knots?! Who cares, it will be fun I love big waves! Well big waves is what we got! At the end I will post a bunch of pictures but I don't think the pictures are going to do these waves justice. I am talking we went for an hour out to the reef in 6 to 8 feet waves, white caps everywhere. I am not exaggerating in the least bit when I say that 2/3 of our boat got sea sick. Everyone was out on the back deck with their little brown bags and dad and I were just laughin about it! This is where I met another girl who was laughing about it named Alex who is from Canada but lived in Destin for the past 3 summers and just moved to Sydney and we became good friends! After an hour of riding the waves, what I thought was great fun, we finally arrived at the reef!! The entire day we stopped at 3 different reef sights! The first sight was probably the sight we went the deepest, probably about 25-30 feet. The second sight was my favorite because we literally swam through caves of coral and it was the most unreal experience ever. These coral heads were 20-30 feet high and at least 15 feet across. I have truly never seen anything like it. Even dad goes "Not much impresses me, but I am truly impressed by this", and that says something! I was thinking it would be alot like the reefs in the keys but this was 20 times that. We saw all sorts of fish, large and small, with the most spectacular colors. We swam with turtles and saw all different species of coral and underwater life. The whole experience was just perfect! The diving, the reef, the crew, and all the members on board were all part of what made it great! Dad and I dove on our first dive with Kento, and it was his birthday! Then on our second dive we dove with Paul! All of the crew was so nice and helpful and really fun to experience everything with! Also, I owe a large part of this perfect day to all the people we met! Like I said I met a friend Alex who I layed out with and chatted with alot, as well as her brother Spencer and his friend! We also met a group of Aussies that sat across from us who kept making fun of me for my fruit loops! I love to eat cereal on the boat (its the perfect boast snack!) and these Aussies thought that was soooo funny and kept makin fun of me! We had a ball and it was truly an experience of a lifetime. It is something I will forever remember and I cant wait to take my kids to! We ended our wonderful day with burgers, beer, and ice cream on the Promenade listening to live music... truly doesn't get any better than that!! Here are some pictures, I am sure I will post more on facebook later but these are the best ones!
One thing I really loved about the reef encounter is that 6 dollars from everyones fee goes towards a program that works to preserve the reef! Even though I know dad is upset you cant fish or shoot anything...I think it is pretty cool that they are working to make sure this is something people can enjoy for a lifetime!!