bucket list #14 – great barrier reef

Leyla & I booked a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling trip on a small boat and the morning of the trip we were re-directed to a larger boat.  The weather was bad so smaller boats weren’t going out on the water…we were merged together with a separate tour company.  We kept hopes up that the weather would clear once we got out to the reef but it never did and the water remained rough the whole day.

I had a bit of panic when I first got in the water and realized how rough it really was.  After a couple minutes I was like…”ok I gotta go back to the boat”…and I put on a life jacket…it was too exhausting without one for me.  Leyla was doing just fine without one, but she’s always been a natural in the water.  It was crazy, I mean that’s the ocean so duh but man!  Anytime we stopped kicking against the current, we were pushed like 20 feet within seconds…and the waves were high enough that the boat would disappear from view as they passed.  It was definitely an adventure!

On our first trip out I was staying close to the boat, I wasn’t that comfortable in the water.  After a bit I had to get out and I was a bad Girl Scout (always do the buddy system) and I left Leyla out there.  After a little while they called everyone back to the boat and they served lunch.  Initially we were supposed to go to a lagoon where there were lot’s of turtles, but they announced that we had to stay where we were for the 2nd half of the day since the water was still so rough.

The 2nd time we went out I was mentally prepared for how it was going to be so it went much better.  Leyla led us far from the boat to see some great spots where the reef was almost close enough to touch!  There were spots where I was afraid to kick my feet because I thought I was going to end up kicking the coral.  It was amazing!  There were canyons, tons of different kinds of coral, colorful fish, and at the very end we saw the best thing of all…a turtle!  There was one little turtle out swimming and he swam right underneath us.

Spot the turtle in the next photo!

After getting back to land and freshening up, we went to the Cairns night market to shop, walk around, & get henna!  We both got these cute birds on our arms.

It was an awesome day and I’m so glad I got to experience the Great Barrier Reef for the first time with my best friend & also got to tick that off my bucket list.  I will definitely return and snorkel there again…but hopefully on a calm day next time!

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