• Day28

    Day 28/72: Day 2 on the Reef

    November 24, 2018 ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    What a day! We woke up to the light from the sunrise coming through the fly sheet on our swag. It was about 0445, so we pulled up a chair and sat on our pontoon, looking over the reef, drowsily saying hi to our fellow reefsleepers who'd also woken up to catch it. We watched the sky turn from deep red through to blue as the sun that we had watched set the night before, rose to announce another day in Australia. While the sun was rising over the reef we happened to see a reef shark swimming along the edge of the reef! A very rare sight that close to the pontoon! It was such an experience, and we got another hours happy sleep before breakfast.

    We packed up the swags and headed for a breakfast of toast, bacon and eggs, yoghurt (yo-gurd), and fruit. Delicious! After our breakfast a turtle decided to join us by the edge of the pontoon. We then chilled out and read in the morning sun, feeling the wind slowly pick up before our morning activity; a surprise snorkel safari! The staff were kind enough to try and make time to take us out, although I'm sure they enjoyed the trip just as much as we did. They took us on a boat to the other side of the reef to experience something different. There were less fish on this side of the reef, but a much greater variety of coral which Katie the guide was very excited about. As everyone else got left behind in the strong current, we followed Katie along listening to her describing various aspects of the coral, how if you see blue tips it's good as that's growing coral, however if it's all blue it means it's stressed and is on the brink of bleaching (for example). It was very interesting stuff, and the more we slowed the more we saw. It was hard work swimming against the tide, a large one as it was the full moon, and we were almost glad to reach the pontoon for a break. Before long we were back in the water though, for a last swim before the day trippers arrived.

    The day followed similarly to the previous one. We snorkelled, daring to go deeper and swimming with a great variety of fish and turtles. We dived, and had Flic the same dive instructor as the day before. This was great as she let us off the leash early on, and we had a brilliant dive searching for baby lion fish, puffa fish, and swimming with Maggie who is about 1.5m long (insert her fish type when I remember). It was fantastic and got us hooked on diving, so much so that Izzi made contacts and got info about coming back and working on the reef to get diving qualifications! We had a lunch and one last snorkel (with turtles!!) and then it was time to say a sad goodbye to our little pontoon. We sat on the boat and watched the pontoon grow ever smaller, thinking back over the past couple of days dreamily as we made our way back to Airlee Beach.

    That evening we went for some pizza and banana/oreo milkshake, and returned to the hostel, shattered after a couple of the best couple of days of our lives.
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