The great barrier reef-- SHARK!!

Trip Start Jun 14, 2011
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53
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Trip End Sep 21, 2011


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday-The Great Barrier Reef
We got up before 6 and were out the doors just slightly behind schedule at 6.40 a.m
. We were all feeling a bit beat up from the night before at the Night Zoo (and the boys were feeling the effect of an open bar with the bush man!) We had an old faithful Mc Donalds breakfast ala drive through and motored for about 1.5 hours to Port Douglas Marina.
It is a nice marina reminiscent of any finer marina with restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Poseidon was the boat we booked--it is the smallest of the boats going out to the far reefs--80 passengers. It's a great boat and very comfortable. THe divers on the bottom and the snorkelers on top. Matt was the only one diving. We were served hot coffee and tea and fresh pastries so all that on top of the Mc Donalds breakfast we were looking mightily fine in those wet suits let me tell you ;0)
We had a briefing about the equipment, procedures and then about the reef it self. it was very interesting. It was a bit overcast in the morning so it got a little chilly and at the first dive site we all got pretty cold.
On the way out to the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs on the edge of the coral sea we encountered 3 whales. Humpbacks are amazing, it doesn't matter how many times you see them they are such gorgeous creatures. They rule with quiet strength and sheer size and their beauty and grace is enchanting.
Our first reef encounter was not as clear due to the overcast and al though spectacular in its own rite, it was slightly disappointing after having swam through the coral gardens in Tahiti. There were lots of corals and fish but the colors were just not the same..It could have something to do with that Fiona was telling us all about her favorite movie on the way out--Open Waters ! lol and I kept glancing back at out vessel to ensure we did not get left behind (If you have not seen the movie it is based on a true story where a couple of snorkelers were left behind by the tour company and never heard from again, their camera was found inside the stomach of a shark at a later date) so that made for great conversation out there and a great little mind screw while we were snorkeling. Anyhow we still saw al sorts of marine life including giant clams (funny though that they were really nice but the ones in Tahiti were neon colored , yellow, blue , hot pink ) here they were great but a green colored plankton that inhabited the clams and not those super bright colors.
When we got back on board we were cold cold cold and the sun was starting to come out and we decided to stay on deck to warm up instead of doing the second snorkel. We had a great lunch with cold cuts and salads. On en route to the last dive site we had a noter briefing and learned about some of the fish we had encountered and whaling and shark hunting and how Australia still provides Asia with most of its shark for shark fin soup and souvenirs like shark teeth and such. The shark population has been diminished by close to 90% in the last decade and it has to stop. The conservation of the oceans eco systems depend on it as sharks are a top level predator and if removed it will upset the oceans as a whole. Sharks are prehistoric and date back from before the dinosaurs and here we are killing them off, disgusting!!!. I keep harping on how all people are inherently good, but there more and more I see of the treatment of people, of the earth and of the oceans, I still feel that good way out weights the bad, but we have to be careful of those with greed. And conquer them together as a cohesive good and teach them. Lets not be afraid to share with out children the history of the world or the effects on the world and it's populations and echo systems, they can handle it and learn from it. Early on in this trip I wasn't sure how much to share with Maija and Mikael about some of the horrific events in history that we encountered starting all the way back to our first stop of the Galapagos and then the treatment of the Inka's all the way to Hiroshima and the Vietnam war but we went with the honesty approach and I know it was not a comfortable thought, and it should not be, but I do hope that it is teaching them that we are ALL responsible for this world and the fair treatment of both its people and land. We are not insignificant in its happenings but we have a voice and an obligation from the minute we are born. We are part of a much bigger picture and yes its a big responsibility but we can do it together.
Anyhow, Can you tell this is the first time in a few days I am sitting alone while blogging, thats always when I get into these conversations with my self instead of simply re telling the events of the day so please bare with me...
The third dive site was the best for most of us I think. We saw a lot of great and large fish including barracudas ;0) . One of the coolest things we saw (which we were told was super rare) was a while group of cuddle fish !! they are usually very elusive and if you do see them it would be one not a bunch but it was breeding season and there were so many and they are amazing. We also saw loads of sea cucumbers, parrot fish, Trigger fish, giant clams, colorful corals a then all of a sudden a shark came up quickly on the ocean floor and he circled around Maija and I ..it was awhile tipped reef shark and for some reason even after having swam with 20-30 black tips while they were feeding this somehow seemed a bit more creepy. anyhow it was a great time and the kids had a wonderful time. It was Amy's first reef snorkel so for her it was extra special what a way to set the bar high for ocean snorkeling starting at the Great Barrier Reef
We had some more hot chocolate and fruit and cookies once back on the boat and then we saw he pods of dolphins following the boat, they are so great and jump and spin and race each other in the waves. They followed us for quite the distance and we just sat there watching they games.
Mikael disappeared to the from of the boat and was chatting with the captain before falling asleep on the crew couches in the front. Maija and Amy fell a sleep on the deck and the rest of us half snoozed to the beautiful views and the ocean breeze.
on land we did some souvenir shopping in the marina and headed down town port douglas for a drink. We found a great little place and enjoyed dinner then we headed home. One the way home we were all beat!! it was about 8 or so and we were trying to close our eyes in the car, but Mikael would not stop talking. He was asking questions and if we didn't answer he would answer himself and then move on to the next topic of discussion. Finally I was just to tired I burst out laughing at him because he was so cute and I just couldn't stop I laughed until I almost cried. and he just looked at me like I was nutso. :) well needless to say that by the time we got home we were all to tired even for a drink and just rolled into our very comfortable beds here at the blue pool house. Another wonderful day. THank you world for all the wonders that you are offering us!
THis is shout out to those of you that I am really missing today!!! Mamma, Marcus, Lise, Sanna what would my world be with out you guys?! xoxox
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Comments

B on

I love when you get all philosophical. I always go with truth myself, they are the next generation and if they don't learn from our history then they are bound to repeat it. The reef looks great, and y'all look like you are having lots of fun. In the last week we have experienced tornados, earthquakes, and now hurricanes. Crazy so it good to see your weather luck is still holding. Enjoy your day b

Lisette on

Thank you Betzy. Yes we have hears the weather has been crazy at home. I am glad you are all safe. Xoxo

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