Thursday, 22 December 2011

Upalo Reef and doing a 360 in the Coral Sea

We got to our large Cat at Finger D on the wharf in Cairns for 7.45am to go out to Upalo Reef, a couple of hours off-shore. Breakfast was unpacked from our large blue plastic snorkelling trug; croissants, nutella and orange juice.
Derek gave us a lesson in sea creatures and coral. "It's easy to name coral: if it looks like a brain, it's brain coral, if it looks like a mushroom etc". Raz spotted a sea snake as we pulled up to the reef (Derek said they were really friendly, he had one wrapped around him once) and a green turtle come up for air by the boat. We snorkelled all morning and Digs did a dive after lunch and saw white tip reef shark. Raz, Bear and Digs saw a huge blue Maori Wrasse just before they gave their gear back and headed home.
On the way back to Cairns, Mark the boat owner let Bear steer the boat. He did ok, not that straight, but nothing compared to Magi, who was then given a go and turned the wheel so far to the right we ended up doing a 360 degree turn in the coral sea. I’m not sure what his other paying guests thought!

Derek giving us a lesson in the middle of the Coral Sea. Lovely chap. Used to work in the sugar cane fields and get chased by Taipans! No wonder he loves cuddly sea snakes.

Bunking off school for another day.

Magi and Bear.

Bear and a Giant Blue Star Fish.

Magi and me.

Bear at the helm.

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