Saturday, June 04, 2011

We got our Great Barrier Reef fix today. We are in Cairns, whose main industry seems to be tourism based on the GBReef. We debated on whether or not to go diving because the package for the day was pretty expensive but we decided that we couldn't pass up the area without going diving. Imagine being in one of the dive meccas in the world and not going, UNTHINKABLE. We had a very enjoyable day, going out on a very large cat with 60 other people. We thought it would be super crowded under water but there were only 4 certified divers on board and we went off by ourselves and had a great time. We took in 2 dives the first was a little disappointing but the second was marvelous. The variety of coral and the many different sizes and colours of fish were great. We saw another lion fish, always a thrill, a large moray eel, a trigger clown fish with large black and white spots like a cow and then a bright yellow streak along it top, there were also huge bivalves that pulsed away in brilliant greens and purple. We swam in and around large coral bommies and I did flips and turns to amuse myself. It is amazing what your body can do when it is not inhibited by gravity.

Cairns is nothing like I pictured it. I guess I should have know better by now but I thought Cairns (pronounced Cannes, Aussies seems to have a thing against pronouncing their "r's") was going to flat, surrounded by reddish sand and it would be a rather red necked, outback town. Nothing could be further from the truth. It has a stunning setting, nestled at the edge of the ocean with a backdrop of lush green mountainous hills. It seemed much more sophisticated than Townsville with snazy bars and nightclubs to entertain the glut of tourists. It is also a extreme adventure playground with bungy jumping, whitewater kayaking, and daredevil mountain biking trails available to any with enough guts and not enough brains to take them on. This weekend they are hosting a world class triathalon. There was a free concert last night so we boogied, or should I say ambled on over to see what was going on. There was some great talent on show with an up and comer called Jessica Malvoy as the head act. The screaming teeny boppers were a bit off putting but the show was worth attending.

Onboard the cat with Cairns in the background, it must have cost a bundle for that 65 person liferaft.

Relaxing on the cat's trampoline between dives. The wind was cool on the wet skin after we got out of the water thus the fleece and hoodie.