We set out at an ungodly hour for the marina, and hopped on a little cruise boat. I was so excited to get my first glimpse of the reef after a long journey through rather rough waters.
Amazing shelf corals, soft corals with floating tentacles, hard sponge-like corals, huge boulders and classic spindly and branching corals fall shapes and sizes were inspected eagerly and regarded with awe and care.
When the sun came out every few minutes, the reef was transformed into a fishy paradise, with astounding corals, electric blue fish, anemones and creatures of all the colours of the rainbow all lying tube found in the sparkling turquoise waters. It was pretty dazzling in these moments, and very magical.
I went off on little adventures and found deep trenches where huge, grey fish lurked in the shadows, and multicoloured parrotfish meandered casually through the coral gardens.
There were small, shy fish covered in geometric patterns hovering with uncertainty under rocky protrusions, and Moorfish weaving their way across the reef, bobbing along with the gentle flow of the tide.
The highlight was peeking at a stupendous spotted eagle ray, flying with grace above the illuminated sea bed, and then finding myself swimming alongside a sea turtle as it rose up for air before cruising off through the sunlight dappled waters.
To my shock, a pink translucent jellyfish appeared, floating eerily between two shelves of the reef. I kept well away, but watched with fascination as it twisted inside out as the sea buffeted it from all directions.
The corals shimmered with every ray of light which pierced though the dark clouds overhead, making me feel like I had found Poseidon’s magical kingdom at last.
Tongue reef and Agincourt reefs were lovely to explore, despite their rather odd names! They looked so like the reefs in Finding Nemo (come on, you could hardly expect me to write about the reef and NOT mention it) which was really fun for me, it having been a childhood favourite.
We really enjoyed our recent GBR dive trip. We went off of Port Douglas and saw some beautiful sea life. Interestingly, when we left Australia, we stopped over in Bali in our way to Singapore and dove off of Nusa Penida island. We found the diving there to be even a little more beautiful and pristine since the ocean temperatures haven’t risen. Don’t miss it if you head that way.
Thanks for the tip! GBR is certainly amazing, but the signs of damage are unmistakable.
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Fabulous photos and sounds like an amazing adventure Iona.. It is sad that the reef is suffering in places and hopefully it will be preserved for generations to come.
It’s such a shame that our actions affect such an amazing part of nature. I hope that people will continue to enjoy it!
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It looks absolutely amazing.
It was just incredible!