Up bright and early, I got the minibus to the pier, ready for my day of snorkelling ahead.
The journey itself was nothing short of traumatic. The damn Cyclone made itself known again with huge waves that caused about half of the boat to feel sea sick, including me - it was a disaster. It was only once we stopped 1 ½ hours later and got into the water that we all felt much better.
We were fully suited and booted before entering the water in stinger suits, boots, gloves, and of course snorkel equipment. We weren't sure this was entirely necessary until we got into the water and realised it was full of tiny jellyfish floating on the surface. Even with the suits we still managed to get stung on our faces!
We got to spend around 1 ½ hours at each of our stops (Norman and Hastings reef), but 45 minutes was all you could handle as the current was so strong it took a lot of effort to stop yourself drifting away.
My high expectations for the Great Barrier Reef were definitely met. The variety of coral and fish were extraordinary and we even got to see a Reef Shark and turtle!! The shark wasn't as scary as I had expected it to be but I also think I didn't associate the fact that I was in the same water as it was - it felt as if I was watching it on a TV programme.
Heading back after an exhausting day of exploring and sunbathing, I crashed out in the hostel and slept for so long that myself and my roommate Inge missed our pub crawl bus we had signed up for that evening. (The pub crawl did start at 6.30pm though, which we felt was ridiculously early!)
Deciding we couldn't be bothered to track it down, we headed out into the Chinese New Year celebrations and watched some dragon dancing and drumming. After a few drinks at the Woolshed, which saw us meet the worst person I've met so far on this trip (he was very drunk with some shockingly controversial opinions), we went to sleep, all packed for our rainforest trip the next day.