After several long months of working the most mundane, mindless admin job we’ve ever undertaken this week marked the beginning of new adventures. Although sad to leave our lives in Brisbane behind we are somewhat overcome with excitement for the months ahead and our upheaval from the balmy summer of Down Under to the blistering winter of the True North.
To celebrate our final week in Australia we booked ourselves a slightly indulgent trip up to Port Douglas in the tropical climes of Far North Queensland. For the first time in months it feels like we are actually travelling again as we fill our days with reading at the beach or by the pool, exploring the dense, ancient rainforest and taking a trip 50 KM offshore to the incredible Great Barrier Reef.
This weeks snap comes from the aforementioned trip. In a move that blew our budget out of the water (pun well and truly intended) we booked ourselves a $250 tour to the outer reef on board Wavelength cruises.
We choose Wavelength because of their emphasis on Eco tourism and education, which feels particularly apt as the reef currently goes through the biggest bleaching event in recorded history (more on that in a later post!).
The journey out to the reef itself took about 90 minutes and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feelings of anxiety. I’ve never been the most confident person when it comes to close contact with even the smallest marine life and a recent jellyfish sting the prior week had confounded my suspicion that everything in the sea was out to kill me.
But the second we plunged off the ships stern onto our first reef stop we were greeted by a metre and a half long Humphead Maori Wrasse, known to the crew as Angus. The sight of something so big in the ocean would usually have me flailing but the inquisitive and friendly nature of this gentle giant was infectious and I spent some time swimming with him in the great blue.
At points he swam within a few inches of us and with this close contact all sense of fear dissolved rapidly and we spent the rest of the day duck diving 20 metres below the surface to inspect the plethora of life on the coral floor. We saw all manner of clown fish, rainbow fish, giant clams and wrasse amongst an unending submerged landscape of garden coral.
The whole day was predictably indescribable, but it was this initial contact with Angus that really set the tone and served as a most warm welcome to the incredibly fragile beauty of the biggest reef system in the world.