The first thing that I have to say about the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), is that it was stunning! From varieties of coral to fish, this was by far one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.
We were all pumped up and ready to go diving when, there was a problem with the boat and we had to switch. Luckily, the boat we went on, Calypso, has a backup although it wasn’t as nice. But who cares when you’re going to the GBR! The boat ride went by really fast and in the blink of an eye, we were down under the surface. I have to admit that I was really scared; so much that I was shaking! When we were still on the boat, mommy said to me, “If you are really scared, Louisa, you can stay up here and you don’t have to go.” Of course for me, that wasn’t really an option. You go to Australia and Port Douglas and you don’t go diving?! No. Even though the outside of me wanted to do exactly that, the inside of me kept saying that I can’t bail out. I powered through and soon enough, I was in the water ready to go. We started going down under and everything was going well. Sebastian had the GoPro and was taking multiple photos and video. We saw Nemo and Dori along with a variety of schools. The coral was indescribable. From blue to even neon green, there were so many colors you could NEVER name them all! In the middle of the dive, mom, Sebastian and I find ourselves going up to the surface when we should be 40 to 50 feet under. ScubaDave grabs mom’s fin and we slowly all go down under again. By the end, my max depth was 10.6 meters. Yay!
We all hop back onto the boat and now it’s time to go snorkeling! To be honest, I was a bit relieved that I didn’t have to do a dive back to back. The snorkel was very nice, but not as nice as the Low Isles snorkel! We saw a barracuda family, sea cucumbers, schools of fish, anemone, and coral of course! We didn’t see dozens of sea turtles like the Low Isles also, but I really enjoyed it!
After the snorkeling, we ate lunch. I had a roast beef and cheese sandwich with a pasta salad on the side. Yum! During lunch, there was a snorkeling guide who gave a reef speech! It was very good and I learned a lot about clownfish. In Finding Nemo, they got something wrong. When Coral (Nemo’s mom) dies, and the barracuda eats all the baby fish, except Nemo. What Marlin (Nemo’s dad) would have done in real life was change gender and create more babies. Isn’t that funny?!
Soon it was time for our second dive. It went pretty much the same as the first except, I think we all were a little more calm and not so nervous. And also, this time Sebastian and I did not follow mommy up to the surface. ScubaDave and the rest of us (except for me) wanted to see a shark! ScubaDave said that when he gives the shark signal, I can close my eyes or look away. Luckily for me, we didn’t see any!
Later, we made our way back to the dock and arrived again at the Outrigger. Boy were we tired!
Tongue Reef GoPro photo
We are now in a place called Agnes Water and today, Sebastian and I attended a surf school called Reef 2 Beach. I learned a lot by the end of the day and had a ton of fun! First, the surf instructor ran through what we would be doing and how we need to do it. Next, we practiced it on land to get a feel for it. And soon enough, we were in the water applying what we had learned on land. It was a bit tough for me to get out to the ocean because big waves, little person, don’t go so well together. So, the waves were taking me back of what I had just paddled. Finally I get out there, waves are coming, (not too big) and I start paddling for a few waves but don’t quite catch them. Surfing is a patient kind of sport. You need to practice a lot to get good. Now, the instructor came over to help me out a bit. He told me when to start paddling and gave me a little push to get the wave… and I caught it! For the first time, I stood up and stayed up until I got to shore! When I went back out, I had a lot more confidence in myself. Pushing through the waves to get out with all my might, I hop onto the board and leave just my toes hanging off. I look over my shoulder and see a wave heading my way. I start paddling and the wave gives me a bit of a push. The nose of my board (the top) goes straight into the water and I’m under water, covering my head in case the board lands on it. That happened several times until my mom and dad helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. I was leaning forward too much and that is what was causing the nose to go straight into the water. I worked on improving when I went back out after my break and soon enough, I was like a professional!
“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun”