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Reef Report for Friday, February 19, 2010

Reef Daytripper, a day trip report, from a snorkeller's perspective.

The report belowo was writtten by Jocelyn from Canada, who visited the reef with a friend this month. If you want to learn more about the trip they took check out the full trip details here.

Our trip was with "Reef Daytripper", which also happened to be the name of the catamaran. We choose it because the maximum number of guests was 20 and on our particular day there were only 6 guests and 3 crew total.

As we motored out to the reef for about 90 minutes we got instructions, tried on the attractive goggles and flippers and got a lecture on the reef. The weather was clearing but not really sunny. Once we arrived we got ready and slipped into the water. WOW! It was fantastic. The water was about 31 degrees, like a bathtub, and it was reasonably calm so it was easy to snorkel around. Our guide Iris pointed out a stingray on the bottom to us and then shortly after a sea turtle which followed her (I got a fairly good shot of that). She then brought a sea cucumber up for each of us to hold and took a picture of us with it. Sea cucumber is a nice euphemism - it is really a giant slug.

It was an unbelievable experience, everything that both of us hoped it would be. The fish, the coral, the colours were enchanting. The crew gave us a wonderful time. We had a nice lunch and then went back out again. This time the wind had picked up and it was harder to swim against the waves and a bit murkier but still incredible. I learnt early to stop saying Wow because I swallowed seawater (which even for me is very salty). Frances was bright enough to wear a long sleeved top over her bathing suit, I trusted to sun bloc - big mistake. I also forgot to put it on the back of one leg. Both my back and this leg were quite sunburned.

On the way back (we were in the water for 1 3/4 hours then 1 hour) the sea was a bit rougher and with feeling the sun, even though it was overcast, we sat inside. I got a bit seasick and so Iris set me up outside in the shade with Nickola and Hazel - Frances loves the sea, the rougher the better. They had wine and crackers and cheese for us and then shortly before we reached the harbour some fresh fruit. We were exhausted when we got back but both of us agreed that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience made all the better by the superb care we received from Mark, Iris and Ken.

I would highly recommend both Dive the Reef and The Day Tripper for any future tourists. They were very well organised, friendly, efficient and very helpful. They watched over us as if we were their children. For senior citizens this is an important consideration, we felt safe and protected in the water and out. It was a truly memorable experience.

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as  many other local sources in the dive community.

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