Great Barrier Reef

The title is self-explanatory I suppose. This was part of a short trip to Cairns with Dani’s abuelos. There are several things to do in and around Cairns, but the main one is just offshore. That means a visit to what is easily Australia’s most famous landmark – even if it is out at sea.

Off to the Great Barrier Reef…

Cairns is probably the Great Barrier Reef’s main launch point for tourists. That is largely to do with the fact that the reef is only an hour and a half away by fast boat. The city has grown in recent years and the port is full of large boats offering all kinds of diving, snorkelling and other trips to the reef. We met our boat for an 8am departure.

On the boat trip out to the reef Dani met the official tour photographer and his impressive underwater camera. A bit bigger than Dani’s V-Tech Action Cam by Kodak (cheap-ish camera we bought online), but we did OK with that little device as you will see…

Dani comparing underwater photography options

Getting to grips with this snorkelling thing…

It was his first time snorkelling so he was understandably a little bit anxious. But he soon picked it up. Before long he was happily moving around the reef taking pictures with his go-pro device.

The trip took us to two separate parts of the reef but they were both pretty much in the same area. The boats use anchor points specifically made for these tours using large concrete blocks. If nothing else it limits the number of tours and the places they can stop. When you see some of the reef has clearly died it can make you wonder about tourism. But then when you stop and think that the Great Barrier Reef covers an area larger than Italy, then it does not seem so bad. The area of Italy is only 87% the size of the reef. You can look it up for yourself, but here is the results of a comparison using the website mapfight.xyz. Tourists are only visiting a tiny fraction of the reef.

More Photos

Here are a few more photos from Dani’s camera including a few of every kids’ favourite reef fish; Nemo – aka the clown fish or anemone fish because they live around the anemone plants. Hence “Nemo”. I had never realised that – doh! Hey! I have only seen the movie once so why would I even give it any thought? Hahaa…

   

And finally here is a little video of Dani snorkelling. Clearly after he had gained his confidence.

A fitting brew after a hard day’s snorkelling

The Reef Exposed

Even this far off the coast the tide has a dramatic effect. When we first arrived at the reef the topmost coral was clearly visible just below the surface. But after the first dive/snorkel expedition the level dropped exposing the top surface of the reef. You could (theoretically) walk along the reef when the tide is so low although that clearly wouldn’t be allowed (nor would it be a good idea).

The reef as seen from our boat
The topmost coral becomes exposed at low tide
Cairns viewed from the sea on our return to land

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