July 4, 2011 (updating previous blog to new website)
Submersible experience in the Great Barrier Reef
June 25, 2023: Presently, the world is waiting in suspense for hopefully a successful rescue of the Titan submersible that has disappeared. This awful event made me think of my experience in a submersible in July 2011 in the Great Barrier Reef when TravelswithElsa led a group of 5 ladies to experience New Zealand and Australia.
As it happens, I am busy updating my new website, incorporating my previous blogs and newsletters. I decided that I was going to take a trip down memory lane, recalling tours from the June/July months of bygone years. This one goes back quite a few years!
Two nights in Cairns, North Queensland, Australia
July 4, 2011
My group and I caught the plane in Sydney, New South Wales after a memorable Christmas in July stay in the Blue Mountains. (Blog to follow) As we flew over the Great Barrier Reef, we could see the rocky formations and sandbanks under the water below.
There are some 2,500 individual reefs and 900 islands of varying sizes and shapes. We could see some sandy cays and rugged continental islands.
We booked into our hotel in Cairns and regrouped for a drink before having a hearty dinner at the Cock & Bull Tavern. Linda, Judy, Anne, Barbara, Maryln, and I were delighted to share this exciting adventure!
It was a glorious sunny day on the spacious deck of the sailboat. The sun was hot but the breeze cool! People were spread out, some getting a tan.
We enjoyed breathing in the fresh salty air while the city of Cairns slowly faded from sight.
On arrival, a buggy shuttle transferred us to the beach, where we bravely donned our snorkeling gear, a mask, a snorkel, a buoyancy vest, and fins. As I was not an experienced snorkeler, I struggled to stay close to the shore and not drift deeper into the ocean. However, it was an exciting experience to see such a variety of fish up close.
After a few hours on the beach, we were ready for our next adventure. We boarded a submersible (now called a semi-submarine/glass bottom boat.) The inside looked like an enclosed rowing boat with viewing windows. We filled a few rows of seats from the front to the back – there was no way to get out in a hurry. We looked at each other, our hearts in our throats.
The water was quite murky, but we managed to see some sea life, as well as fascinating coral formations.
The crew leader explained that the Great Barrier Reef contained the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, 4,000 types of mollusk, and 1,500 species of fish. His commentary and the sights we saw kept us so busy that we soon forgot we were traveling in a submarine.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Great Barrier Reef, the catamaran, the snorkeling, and the submersible experience.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the brave adventurers of the Titan who ventured far further than I would ever have dared to go.