(September 24, 2015) Great Barrier Reef: Outer reef
We’ve got a tour for this day with Reef Magic to
enjoy snorkeling in the outer reef.
They have a floating platform and a long list of activities to do in an
entire day there all around the sea life: snorkeling, diving, bottom
glassed boats, etc…
We can take our breakfast at hotel this time as we’re
picked up at 8:10 AM. We’re delivered to the ferry terminal and join
the line for Reef Magic check in desk. Boat leaves at 9 AM full of
During the one and a half hours the ride takes we’re
constantly offered the additional pay activities they have: scuba
diving, helicopter rides, guided snorkeling sessions out of the
boundaries, underwater walks with a helmet…
When we reach the floating platform we can see how the
tables are taken very quickly. We take a part of one and get our
snorkels and fins. I get a neoprene suit by 6$ as a burn prevention and
go to the water immediately.
There is just a small limited area for snorkeling on a
beautiful reef. The only way of snorkeling out of there is by paying a
guided tour. As I’ve been this fast I could enjoy the reef quite alone
and leave when it started to get crowded.
Then we board what they call a “semi-submersible” tour,
which allows us to be 30 minutes sited 1 meter below waterline, with
windows in every side, in the bottom of a small boat.
This is one of the three ways they have to enjoy the views of the reef
without getting wet. The other two are the glass bottom boat and the
underwater observatory in one of the sides of the platform with views
to a part of the snorkeling area, which allows taking pictures of a
partner while diving.
The lunch is being set around 11:30 AM and, at 12 PM,
we’re in the line for the buffet, which is opened until 1:30 PM. Then I
go to the water again for another snorkeling session taking advantage
of the most of people is lunching.
I leave the water on time to board to the last tour in the
glass bottom boat at 2 PM. This tour is better than the one in the
semi-submersible as this can be over the reef, while the other only can
explore the walls as it is deeper.
Once back to the platform, they’re taking the equipment
back, so we deliver the suit, snorkels and fins and take a place in the
boat for the return trip. We leave at 3:30 PM to reach Cairns at 5 PM,
where the van is waiting to take us back to the hotel.
When comparing the experiences from yesterday and today I easily
take yesterday’s: a lot of reef to explore, a lot of hours snorkeling
and, therefore, more fauna and flora sights. But today’s tour seems
more appropriate for child, elderly people and any person unable to
swim or dive. We’ve seen old persons enjoying the underwater landscapes
of the Great Barrier Reef without having to get wet at all.
For today we have already thought about shopping in the supermarket and
cook our dinner in the big kitchen we found out yesterday in the hotel.