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Tag: great barrier reef

A Better Snorkel

“Where’s the shark?” asked the Horror from Outer Space through his snorkel. “Where’s the shark where’s the shark where’s the shark AAAAARGH!” he said, while executing quite a fine example of an underwater leap. The Casey family snorkelled with a shark today and it was exactly exciting enough. It was almost the same length as the Horror, and kept swimming in figure eights under us, but didn’t go snapping at our fins or tearing any marine life apart.

We got the kids on board the Silver Sonic this morning after some very fast talking and extreme applications of the placebo effect. They were worried that they were going to be sick again if they got on a boat. Of course, so were we, but we weren’t telling them that. I went to the trouble and expense of brewing some ginger tea with local ginger purchased at Rusty’s Markets in Cairns and some palm sugar I found at an excitingly comprehensive Asian supermarket. For a sample recipe, please see my previous blogs. This morning we all had some, though the kids complained it was too strong. Of course, I told them, medicine has to be strong to work properly. I thought it was excellent, and believed my own propaganda. Just in case, everybody except me took some Travacalm as well before boarding the rather swish Silver Sonic at Port Douglas.

The promised rough ride (shut up! I kept thinking) wasn’t at all, but the kids rode outside at the front just in case. As an additional precaution, the Moose danced Gungnam style the whole way too. Whatever, it worked. It was the best snorkel yet. We stopped at three different reefs, all with beautiful coral and very clear water. Our Japanese snorkel guide promised us “many Nemo and Giant Crams”, and he was right, both before and after runch. We even saw a moray eel, possibly, just so the Moose could say “that’s amore … eel”. The last stop was at Turtle Reef, so called as our disappointingly non Japanese snorkel guide said “we very occasionally see turtles here”. We didn’t, but it was still spectacular. All in all, I think the shark was the highlight. Are we done snorkelling? We’re now into family reunion mode, so it’s out of our hands, but if so, we’ve done good.

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Voyage of the Damned

Did you miss me yesterday? I didn’t get around to writing anything last night due to whiskey drinking with our gregarious host. We did have a rest day, did some washing (it is really great staying in a house rather than a hotel), bought some supplies. The Moose spent the day on the lounge recovering from a spot of bronchitis. The other two went to Cairns’ really amazing public pool.
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Can you imagine such a thing in Sydney? An enormous, clean, free, UNFENCED public pool. With a beach on one side and a park on the other, right on the extremely unattractive waterfront, AND I was able to park the Merc right on the street in front of it.

Anyway, today we were bound for the Outer Reef. Boarded the large and comfortable Sunlover, and about ten minutes out the vomiting started. First some little kids, then pretty much one hundred percent of the considerable contingent of Chinese tourists on board, also two of my kids and various others. Paper bags were produced in vast quantities, also cups of ice, and the staff broke out thousand packs of rubber gloves to collect the bags as they were filled and disinfect the areas in which the paper bags had been insufficient. It was impressively efficient, and the staff managed to keep smiling. I thought I’d break the monotony by visiting the bathroom, only to realise it was the seventh circle of hell, reserved for those undergoing complete physical breakdowns. I spent the rest of voyage with the Horror from Outer Space on my lap alternating snoozing with vomiting, watching the groaning Chinese man across the table alternating sweating and groaning with vomiting.

Everyone felt a lot better once they were snorkelling, and once again I felt that it was magic. As the Muffet said, it really was exactly like being in Finding Nemo. I love the sensation of flying, especially over the edge of a bommie with a thirty metre drop to the bottom. We discovered that all of our children can actually talk under water.

The trip home has been perfectly smooth, much to my relief, as we’re booked to go out again on a different boat on Monday, and the Moose looked like being scarred for life by seasickness and was a risk of faking his own death to avoid it.

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I can’t wait to go snorkelling again.