Thursday, 14 May 2009

Great Barrier Reef

Went to the Great Barrier Reef yesterday. I made sure that I went on a trip that included Michaelmas Cay, known for its seabirds. Well, it was not a disappointing trip, that's for sure! I added Lesser Crested Tern, Least Frigatebird, Brown Booby, Noddy and Sooty Tern to my list, bring the lifer total to 147 (can't remember the overall trip total).

I also did some snorkling, for the first time ever, and once you get over the urge to hyperventilate (very unpleasant) it's easy. The hyperventilation soon passes, especially when you encounter your first corals and brightly coloured fishes! I saw brain coral, mushroom coral, giant clams, and many fish whose identities I have no idea of. A couple I do know of were Yellow-tailed Fusilier and Batfish, and that's because they came begging to the boat and the crew ID'd them for us. Being a strong swimmer, I also dispensed with the fins as I found them a hindrance not a help.

Michaelmas Cay was easy to do snorkling in, you could just swim from the beach but the other place, Paradise Reef had to be done from the back of the boat in choppy seas but that was good fun too.

I am flying to Sydney tomorrow and while Cairns has been a bit wet for most of the time I've been here, it has been relatively hot and I'll be quite glad to duck back down below the Tropic of Capricorn again to a cooler climate. Sydney will be chilly and probably windy. I'm not ruling out wet either but I hope it's not too wet. Going birding this weekend, then a trip to the Warrumbungles if I can work out how to get to Coonabarabran from Sydney.

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