Great Barrier Reef from Cairns

March 8

Breakfast consisted of black coffee, a handful of almonds and a spoon full of peanut butter. The hostel offered free pancakes starting at 7:30 so I managed to grab one on the way out the door.
We boarded the boat with Reef Divers along with hundreds of other people (so it seemed) an filled out endless paperwork so I could dive and Sue could snorkel. I had to answer “yes” to the question if you were on any medication and had been sick in the last month. I wish I’d lied. They had to call the dive doctor with any “yes” answer. After sitting in the dive briefing, Neil came, took me aside and told me the doc said I can’t dive. WHAT??! Apparently with the meds I’m on he can’t allow it. PENICILLIN??? Seriously? Oh I SO wanted to scream and argue but knew it was pointless. Some doc I’d never even spoken to had just decreed it and there was nothing I could do. So I snorkeled. It was okay but the waves were vicious and the swimming really hard even with fins. I KNEW under the water it would be peaceful and calm but I wasn’t allowed. GRRRRR
I was the last one in the boat again and had a heck of a time getting back on in the pounding surf. Lunch was really nice and then we moved to the next spot. Same fish types, same coral with a lot of dead stuff and back in the boat. No turtles, giant clams or sharks. All in all, a rather disappointing day.
The ride back was pretty intense with the boat often under water and people puking all over the place. The whole thing was very touristy with much emphasis placed on trying to get newbies diving and selling photos of people under water. None of the divers seemed very excited by what they’d seen either so I guess I didn’t miss much. They asked for reviews on trip advisor. Mine would be mediocre. We were spoiled in the Whitsundays.
Back in Cairns we headed for Backpackers World Travel to get my money back for the diving and confirm our rainforest trip. She was very sympathetic and promised it would be credited to my Master card. I figured I’d have to argue so was pleasantly surprised. Mind you, I’ll be sure when I see the credit on my card. We took advantage of the free wifi and then walked back to the hostel for a shower.
Next we headed out again for some groceries and dinner. The $13 dinner deal of the night before was good so we went back. I had fish and Sue had ribs AND I drank my beer properly 🙂
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Photographed ONLY after I found out it's not dangerous :)

Photographed ONLY after I found out it’s not dangerous 🙂

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