The Great Barrier Reef

We arrived in Cairns yesterday after disembarking the boat in Sydney and flying up here. We are in North Queensland which is in the equatorial Northeast corner of Australia at the top of the Great Barrier Reef. We had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant located right on the Marina and were treated to a magnificent sound and light show as we experienced the most spectacular thunderstorm I have ever seen. This morning we travelled North from Cairns to Port Douglas to take our gigantic catamaran cruise (500 people) to the reef. The trip was fairly smooth sailing and it was a gorgeously clear, hot and sunny day. I had decided not to snorkel as I have been a little hysterical on previous deep ocean snorkelling trips (I like to stand up when I get tired or panicky), so instead I did an Ocean Walk experience in old time deep sea diving gear with a helmet with piped in air. It was lovely and I saw an amazing variety of fish and actually got to feed and touch them. I am so lazy, I have to have the fish come to me rather than go swimming after them. It was meant for me! Tonight we had dinner at a lovely seafood place on the marina and then strolled the night market here. I ordered a piece of glass from one of the artisans for our Florida house and will retrieve it tomorrow. Also bought a lovely and cool bamboo blouse to wear for our rainforest walk tomorrow. We will be riding the Kuranda train and sky rail and going to a village for an aboriginal cultural experience. It is unbelievably hot and humid here and George and I have been melting as we walk around town. Thank god for ice cream!

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