The Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure made of living organisms and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s so big it’s visible from space and stretches along a large portion of the Eastern Australian coastline.
Also, it’s awesome.
Cairns is centrally located along the northern portion of the reef which makes it an ideal spot for dive operators to launch their boats.
We arranged our tour on a large catamaran called Passions of Paradise. This boat specialises in reef tours and offers everything from reef visits, snorkeling beach access, non-certified and certified diving. I have my Advanced Open Water certification and was looking forward to experiencing diving the reef.
Our first stop was Michelmas Caye about an hour and a half from Cairns.
After a cloudy start, the weather started to clear. You can make out the coral gardens under the surface.
That’s me with Chris and Bryon who are also certified divers.
Note to self: Don’t try to take selfies while wearing scuba gear…
We then began our descent and almost immediately we spotted a turtle!
Found a big sea cucumber.
Meanwhile, I continued taking selfies…
Don’t I look cool.
Hung out with some fishes.
After about 40 minutes we surfaced, stripped off our scuba tanks and went snorkeling.
Found this big guy swimming around.
A giant clam.
Then it was time to load the boat and take off to site 2.
Time to descend
Some clownfish and their anemone
Finally got someone else to take a photo of me.
We found some swim-throughs and made our way through the corals.
Bit of a traffic jam, even though there were only 6 of us.
Coming out of the swim-through
Looking back at where we came out of the coral.
Off to our safety stop then back to the boat for a leisurely sail back.
Time to enjoy our beautiful day and take in the views.
Until next time!