today we went on a trip to the UNESCO protected great barrier reef, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. this reef is huge, over 1000 km long and filled with some really amazing fish, corrals and mammals. our small boat (we spent more to be with a smaller group, we were 19 and it was really nice!) took us to two reefs for some serious snorkeling. we got to put on a pretty wet suit (not because the water is cold, but because of the sun and the jellyfish) and i even got to lick a sea cucumber for a photo op. the first swim was wonderful, although there was a lot of stingers and i got stung more than a few times. i saw a white tip shark (not a great white!!!) of about 1.5 meter long which was quite impressive. we also did see a turtle but it wasn’t around us when we were in.
on the second dive we got in and the reef wall was simply spectacular. we saw some really big fish and just as the wall, corrals and fish were getting really cool i got stung – bad. the burn was much worst than the ones i got the first time around and i was confused because i couldn’t see any jellyfish around. i tried to get away but i just kept getting stung, so i went to a different area of the reef where it was fine before. earlier on the burning went away really fast but because this was not going away and i could see the bits stuck on my skin, i decided to get back on the boat for a breather. sadly they didn’t have stingers suits left, and since i had gotten burned on my hand, arm, leg and neck i didn’t feel like getting back in. within 5 minutes, most of the boat was back in, all with some pretty nasty stingers burns. David stayed in regardless, taking in the sights. but he got stung pretty bad, and i was still finding bits of tentacles in his beard hours later!
it was all worth it though, really! simply amazing stuff.