The Great Barrier Reef (08.08.2012): Today we went on a snorkel and dive trip with "down under dive" to Norman and Hastings reefs on the Great Barrier Reef. We boarded the boat at 8am. Boy was it fast and rough. The journey took 1 hour 15 mins - I was sea sick L. During the journey we sat through safety presentations for the diving before landing at the first reef. Diving equipment on we were the first to go for the dive - an introductory dive. Sadly we couldn't get the hang of it and didn't manage to do much diving. The instructors were very impatient and with 100 on board they were just rushing through. We knew we would regret going for the cheap company but with extremely low funds now we had no choice. Thankfully we still saw some amazing sights which made the trip worthwhile despite our dismay about the dive instructors.
The reefs we went to were spectacular. Crystal clear water, amazing coral gardens and so much marine life. I managed to find Nemo! Best of all we saw some amazing giant turtles swimming on the edge of the reef. We followed one for ages. The reef was extremely shallow in places which meant we could get very close to all the coral - you couldn't put your legs down or you would damage it. We saw some amazing fish in every colour. The actual corals are breath-taking - so many different types and colours. It really was like swimming in the best aquarium you have ever seen. I even spotted my favourite fish: puffer fish.
In the afternoon we travelled to the second reef sight for some more snorkelling before heading back to Cairns enjoying the on board entertainment on the way back. We were wiped out when we got to Globetrotters. We had planned on heading into down after changing but both fell asleep. Another early start tomorrow when our journey down the East Coast begins.