The amount of reef cruises departing from Cairns on a daily basis is overwhelming to say the least. Prices are swung around your head everywhere, with all kinds of package deals available. The price category fluctuates from just 100 dollars to 400 or more.
We opted for the Evolution Reef Cruise, Evolution being the name of the boat (a brand-new yacht). It’s a rather fast, comfortable and affordable cruise. We payed just over 200 dollars, for the trip to the Great Barrier Reef, unlimited snorkling at two differenct locations, a BBQ lunch and an introductionary dive.
An 80 minutes boat ride isn’t for everyone however, during our briefing about the snorkling and dive by one of the boat crew members I noticed quite a few people in the room becoming really pale. Thinking to myself, this ain’t gonna take long before people start running outside. And I was right one after the other started heading towards the exit door with a paper bag in their hands, including my missus after a good 40 minutes on board!
Truth must be told, the weather was subpar; cloudy, rainy and quite a lot of wind which resulted in a rocky ride.
Our first snorkling experience in Australia was amazing. When we first got into the water, the sky was grey and the clouds started to drizzle. But all that was forgotten when we got our first glance under water: a natural maze of beautiful coral and colourful fish everywhere we could see.
We stopped at two different locations and both time we were the last ones to get out of the water, since we were both just so happy to snorkel and see everything that was there. On the second spot there were even three reef sharks swimming with us. Only when one of them suddenly swam a bit towards us, we got slightly intimidated.
On the second spot we had our special treat planned. Anniina has been a little ill the previous days, so we had to wait till the last minute to find out if she is cleared to dive. Luckily everything was good.
Scuba diving without any previous training or experience, it’s possible! All basic skills are being explained by an experienced dive instructor. The boat crew will setup all gear and put them on you.
After testing a few skills underwater, you are
accompanied attached to an instructor and off you go. We were lucky enough to get to go just the two of us, and our instructor of course. I won’t forget the thrill of my first dive, that’s for sure.
Luckily on our way back the sky cleared up; sunshine, blue skies and rainbows. In the end we did not care at all that it was rainy weather, since the world underneath the surface, the Great Barrier Reef, is marvellous.
They don’t call it great for nothing.