|Our favorite underwater animal|
We were not in Cairns for long and the core of our adventure there was the 2 days we spent aboard the Encounter boat. We chose this option because we didn't want to fly in for just a single day of snorkeling or diving. The problem is that the reef is out to sea and you need a boat to take you to the different places to be able to admire the underwater sea life. Denise chose to do one dive and snorkel the rest of the trip, which means that she'd have the opportunity to snorkel 6 times over the 2 days. I chose the full scuba diving introduction, which means that I went diving a total of 5 times, always with an instructor, but without really taking any class. Since we had only two days we couldn't do a certification course which takes 3 days minimum.
We took off in the morning on the boat that carries all the tourists who do a one-day adventure and after a couple hours at sea we reached the bigger boat that was going to be our home for the night. We switched over and went out for a first snorkeling exploration.
|Our first shark|
|Doesn't look like it, but this guy was huge|
|Like my new hair?|
The divers among you already know this, but being able to breathe under water is really amazing. For some reason, maybe because of the sound it makes, I always thought that the process was a little laborious and you had to inhale and exhale strongly, but it really is just a walk in the park, and something worth trying if you're in a place where the marine life is worth exploring.
Life on the boat was driven by the dives which are spread during the day. We had our own cabin with ocean view (hard to get anything else really :). I realized that it was the first time I was spending the night on a boat, out in the ocean. The movements of the boat where like a lullaby when it was time to go to bed, not so much when we were trying to eat. The funny part is: once we were back on shore we still had the impression that the ground was moving like the boat was; it was pretty strange!
|Sunset on the ocean|
|Sunrise the following day|
Towards the end of the first day, and for most of the second day, the weather was pretty windy, which means that there were enough waves in the surface to make the snorkeling a little more difficult and reduce the visibility a little. It changed a lot for the last snorkeling outing when the water was a lot more quiet.
Of course we saw plenty of fish (for which i'm sorry to say but we don't have the names), yellow, red, blue, green, pink, white, black, small, big, huge... but also some sharks and some big friendly turtles.
|Sharks tend to leave as soon as they see you pay interest|
|This one surfaced right in front of Denise|
|Clown fish! (they're not that funny)|
Everything is so quiet down there, I can see how you would want to go out for a few days and explore different parts of the reef. Basically, we had an awesome time and are now looking forward to our diving certification in Bali.
If you want to see even more cute underwater animals, go see our photos here.
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