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Finding Nemo

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]After living in Australia for a few years, it was time for me to venture up to tropical North Queensland and find out what was so great about the Great Barrier Reef! I was about to live out one of my lifelong dreams, and I can tell you I was not disappointed.

The anticipation from myself and the rest of the people on the boat was obvious, and the staff were amazing and answered all our questions with the same level of enthusiasm as us!

We booked the trip through “Passions” and showed up to check-in at 7am (as instructed by my confirmation email) at the “Reef Fleet Terminal”. After some paperwork and signing the safety instructions the boat departed at 8am and I was nervous and excited to live out one of my lifelong dreams. The 25 metre catamaran set off on a two hour journey from the mainland to the Great Barrier Reef. Everyone’s anticipation to dive and snorkel for the first time ever was enormous but the staff was amazing answering all our questions about what to expect.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33150″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33151″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Once we were an hour out to sea, the staff began making their rounds asking us a series of health related questions and then we were divided into groups of “Divers” and “Snorkellers”.  To no surprise, most of the reefs are in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight. I am not afraid of the big blue sea, but jumping off a huge boat into the middle of the ocean feels pretty daunting at first. After strapping on the wetsuit and snorkel gear, I took a leap of faith and jumped in. The first time I opened my eyes under water was a bit terrifying as the sea bed was 15 meters below us. Once I was in the water, I had to swim about 20 meters from the boat to get to the actual reef. There it was – the GREAT BARRIER REEF! It was better than anything I have seen on television (in fact, actually better than anything I have ever seen before)!  The reef seemed to be endless, with colourful fish surrounding you and the coral just a few meters below.  Everything was so peaceful and calm. We saw parrotfish, turtles and YES – we found NEMO![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33153″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33154″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]After our lunch break (with a delicious variety of food), which was great as we were all ravenous. We headed to another part of the reef. Our second dive spot was at Hastings Reef which was even more beautiful than the first. We got up close and personal with a reef shark, but don’t worry they are not too big, and not at all harmful – apparently! Seeing sharks was one my biggest fear when jumping off the boat, but when you are in the water, you feel so mesmerized by the colourful underwater world of the reef, you forget all your concerns.

My friend and I were actually the last people to get back on the boat as it was just so incredible that we did not want to leave. We got back to Cairns, and brought home with us memories that will last a lifetime. One of really important things you learn is that the reef tax that everyone has to pay when they visit the reef goes towards marine conservation. So, it was a nice feeling to know that as well as having such an amazing experience, you are also contributing towards protecting the reef for future generations, so they can experience why the reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.

I really wish I was still hanging out with Nemo, but there’s always next time![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33156″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33157″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33158″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”33160″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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