Cairns Day 3

Day 3 and this was by far the day I was most excited for! The reason? It was finally a day to achieve one of my life long dreams. The Great Barrier Reef.

Lining up in much anticipation, waiting for our tickets.
I've always loved marine organisms. I've loved being underwater. There's something so honestly calming about being underwater -- away from all distractions of electronics, and away from the chatter of people and worries of the day. Something about the elegance of marine organisms and they way they seemingly fly through the endless ocean -- their colours, their movements, and their... sensitivity(?).
I always loved the aquarium.

And now it was time to experience it for real.

I was so keen.

Rushing towards the boat in excitement, overfilling with happiness already. We hopped on, grabbed a seat at the back outside, before later realising that the wind was blowing right in our faces and made it quite difficult for us to do a lot of things. It was a nice boat though.

The outside view did make for some photo opportunities. At this moment in time I was overly keen for the trip that lay ahead, so I took a bit too many photos and selfies, but hey, you can never have too many photographs, right?

Leaving Cairns, destination: the thing of my dreams.
We stopped by at Green Island first, and spent a while there prepping for the Scuba Diving later on in the day, and also to snorkel a bit.

This was also my first time snorkeling, and I'll admit, I wasn't the most experienced. Let's just say I had my fair share of salt water and upset my osmotic balance quite a bit.

But the sunlight was good and made for some really great picture opportunities (a lot of video was also shot from my GoPro)

Snorkeling, though different to scuba, was still wonderful. Though, I'll admit, the sights at Green Island weren't too spectacular (in hindsight, compared to the rest of the sights later on), but it was a nice place to practice.

Though, being in the water for so long was such a great feeling. Finally, freedom. Freedom to swim wherever, to forget about everything and just enjoy the movements underwater.

Sometimes I think if I could have a super-human ability for myself, I'd choose to be able to breathe underwater. It's such a content feeling being there, with no one around, alone to yourself in such a serene aquatic environment. The fish are beautiful. Everything was.

Soon, the time finally came to depart Green Island and head off to... (drumroll), the Great Barrier Reef! I was beside myself with excitement.

I didn't take any photos from Scuba itself (though I GoPro'd the entire thing), but let me assure you, it was just as brilliant as I expected (if not more). I absolutely loved the experience. I only wish it were longer (we only spent about 25 minutes scuba-diving). And I only wish they could have let me go myself and just let me spend the rest of my day underwater with the fish.

Unfortunately, it was a guided tour because we weren't licensed scuba-divers, and so that was impossible to do. But I none-the-less enjoyed it so much. Definitely the highlight of the entire trip.

It was surprisingly easy to breathe underwater; I managed the 'equalising pressure' a lot better than I expected, and everything went well. I saw a lot more things than I thought I would see, and was just truly amazed every moment of the way.

Despite the slightly annoying sound of exhalation when the bubbles escape upwards and make a loud brrrrrp brrp brrp brrp bubbling sound, it was very peaceful. These massive fish would come up (Humpback Wrasse; Cheilinus undulatus) and they were absolutely stunning (not to mention the Parrot fish, Butterfly fish, and heaps more that were so gorgeous to the eyes). It was unlike any experience I'd ever had before.

I'd always looked on at aquariums and thought to myself "I wish I could just walk right into the water". For once in my life, I could do that. I really could. That meant the world to me.

Perhaps it doesn't mean as much to other people. I'm fairly sure not everyone enjoys it as much as I do. But to me, this was one of the best places I'd ever been.

Silence. Nothing but elegant movements through the water and the fish -- oh the beautiful fish. And the colour of the corals!! It was well and truly 'Great', and very much alive.

I could probably go on for much longer about the emotions I had at that time and how much I loved the entire experience, but I don't think I'd be able to convey it accurately and genuinely enough through words.

I loved it so much that I spent a great deal of my left-over time snorkeling near the ship, which was also super great because I was able to hold my breath and dive down right next to the corals and appreciate them up close. It was annoying that I had to go up and breathe again every so often, but it was still remarkable, and may I say, it was 'breathtaking'.

After sadly leaving the Great Barrier Reef and returning back to Cairns (I began to miss the Reef already), we went for dinner. We had heard really great things about The Salthouse, so we decided to give it a try.

Although it was expensive, it was tasty, and I had myself a nice meal of steak (though pictured below is VA's seafood meal.)

It'd been a long day absolutely filled with salt (saltwater, salthouse... but mostly saltwater), and perhaps it was subconscious but I felt like I had too much salt in me, and needed a bit of sugar to reattain internal balance.

In other words, I was craving sugar.

So we headed off to the local Woolies and stocked up on chocolate and lollies. Then we headed back home after a long and exhausting day, and relished in today's glories and smiles. I couldn't stop smiling to myself.

That feeling of finally accomplishing something -- it feels good. Finally doing something that you've yearned for as long as you can remember -- it's been a while since I've had that feeling. It almost feels reminiscence of finishing my last English/HSC exam.

Despite swallowing a rack full of sea-water today, I felt good. For once I was able to feel a part of the ocean and I loved it.

I vowed to come back.
The Great Barrier Reef is one place in the world that I will visit again, and till that day comes round, I'll dream fondly of this day and its memories.


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Hello! I'm a student from Australia. I like photography, am aspiring to be a Doctor, have fallen in love with many things that life has to offer, and hope to see more of it. I've been blogging for a while and over the years what it means to me has changed. Currently still trying to figure that out, but here I am in a weird hybridisation of photography, film, blogging, and the confusion of a young adult, you'll find me here writing about my experiences and life. Or whatever tickles my fancy. Whether that's entertaining or not is yours to decide. Stay hydrated, kids.