Sunday, 4 November 2012

Cairns: The Great Barrier Reef

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see The Great Barrier Reef while I was in Australia! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it there, but thanks to study week, I was able to fit it in! Andie, Jenny, Haley, Alexandra and I left Friday afternoon to head up to Cairns (pronounced Cans). We took trains planes and automobiles to get there. After arriving at our hostel, we got settled before going out to a nice dinner in town. We made sure to get back pretty early because we needed to get plenty of rest before the big day.

Saturday we were up at 6:30 a.m. getting ready for our snorkel adventure. We rented two underwater cameras to document our experience. We then got on a bus that took us to the marina. We boarded our Passions of Paradise boat that would take us out to the reef. I enjoyed coffee and muffins on the two hour ride to the reef. Everyone was prepped with stinger suits, masks, snorkels, and sun block (or zinc in my case). When we finally arrived, we had a briefing session on the proper way to snorkel, where we could go, what we could touch, etc. I think most of us were just ready to get in the water at this point!

We were all so excited and jumped right in! I saw so much beautiful sea life in the reef; coral, stingrays, rainbow fish, jellyfish. It was really relaxing and enjoyable. We took our time making our way to the beach, taking lots of pictures of course. We then rested on the beach while regaining our energy to continue snorkeling. Around 12 p.m. we got back on the boat and refueled with a delicious lunch. The boat then departed and took us to a second location.

We had perfect weather. The water was clear and it was all so beautiful and fascinating to see. We stayed there for another two hours before heading back the marina. I went up to talk to the captain of the boat for a while, and he let me drive for a few minutes! I’ve driven my dad’s boat many times, but this was still very exciting. The day went by so quickly. We were on the boat from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. but it flew by. After walking around town, we returned to our hostel to shower and freshen up before dinner. It was a fun last night in Cairns and it was sad to say goodbye.

That was my final big adventure in Australia, and it was one of the best. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I’ve experienced during my time abroad. I feel so blessed to have been able to go on such wonderful adventures, and to be able to spend a semester abroad in such a magnificent country. I go home in 11 days, and even though I will be spending most of my time studying, I will still make the very best of every last second I have here. I am still hoping to make it to the beach at least once more before I have to go back to the winter weather in Ohio. The last four months have flown by, and I still can’t believe my semester is nearly over. I will miss the friends I’ve made here dearly, but I know we will all keep in touch. I am looking forward to going back to Elon and seeing everyone at the end of November. This has been a semester I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life, and I am so thankful for this experience!

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

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