Cairns Day 7 – The Great Barrier Reef

Panoramic of Michaelmas Key

Today we go to the Great Barrier Reef [with the Seastar Cruises who were highly recommended by our AirBnB host Kay, and she steered us well they were great.] and the weather doesn’t look so good. It is very overcast and some raindrops are falling. We left at 7:10 am to walk to the E pier and we were the first ones there. The boat only takes 36 people so it should be a good group. We got checked in and the boat was off by 8:10 am. Good mix of people, some college girls, grandmas, and lots of couples. No little kids.

Nadine and Kelsea Before Boarding Seastar Cairns in our wake

It took about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Michaelmas Cay and on the way they gave us muffins, tea and coffee. We had a safety talk and they numbered us. We were 1-3 so we must have booked first. The ride was fun with lots of bumps on the waves. When we got there we got our “stinger suits” which made us look like blue gumbys. They had hoods and covered our hands and hooked around our feet. Our fins and masks went on after. Then they loaded us on a glass bottomed boat to take us to the spit of land that is a bird sanctuary. We off loaded and looked at the birds, the hatchlings were really cute!

Steve Nadine and Kelsea on Michaelmas Key Birds on Michaelmas Key

Then they paired us w/ Dillon who took us around snorkeling for about 30 min and showed us different corals and fishes. My snorkel didn’t work well since it filled up with water after 2 breaths each time. College Bound CurbCrusher was really cold since the sun didn’t come out. After the 30 min I went back to the boat and she came in to get a wet suit. If I would have had a better snorkel I think I would have seen more and enjoyed it. Mr. CurbCrusher and College Bound CurbCrusher stayed out the whole time we were there. I asked Sergio if we could go on the glass bottom boat and since he had to go get the girl on the beach he let us go with him. There was a couple who didn’t snorkel and a grandma who didn’t either who went with us. He was able to show us more of the fish and coral that I couldn’t see when my snorkel wasn’t working. We picked up the girl and went back to the boat and they got us ready to go then served us a buffet lunch. Lots of good food for lunch.

Nadine and Kelse Snorkeling off Michaelmas Key Underwater Shots off Michaelmas Key

Then we were underway to Hastings Reef. I asked for a new snorkel and asked for a wet suit here since it was still overcast. The snorkeling was much better. Bigger coral with lots of colors and more fishes. We saw a shark, barracudas, and clownfish (nemo) here as well. No sea turtles for us though. This time I snorkeled for about 45 min before going back. CurbCrusher and College Bound CurbCrusher stayed out again. Sergio was giving glass bottom boat rides so I went. We saw several large clams and corals. We went back in and CurbCrusher and College Bound CurbCrusher were able to go out next. I changed to dry clothes and they were serving tea with desserts. Sergio had told us the way back would be a lot more bumpy because of the tides. We had about 1.5 hr ride back to the dock. The sun finally came out on the ride back.

Underwater Shot at Hastings Reef Underwater Shot at Hastings Reef
Underwater Shot at Hastings Reef A Nemo

CurbCrusher jumped in the community pool to col off and rinse the saltwater off. College Bound CurbCrusher and I got showers and now we’re looking to find a restaurant to eat at tonight. College Bound CurbCrusher decided on calzones so we walked 1.5 blocks down to Villa Romana. We ate at a table on the sidewalk. Not bad but it started to mist rain and some of it blew in towards us. Dinner was still good though. Afterwards we walked up the street to another UGG store (remember one on each corner!) for College Bound CurbCrusher to compare styles. She’s going to do more research and decide by tomorrow if she wants any. Then we came back and took the elevator to the 2nd floor where the pool is to look around. Then back to the apartment to sort pictures and write in the journal. Tomorrow we go to Karunda and our 2nd Koala encounter.

Total step count for today – 6,957

2016 - Cairns Reef Cruise

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