24 July 2010

cairns and the GBR

We took a nice little flight from Alice to Cairns, and settled into our hostel. We had an early morning boat to catch for a 2 day liveaboard to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Yay! We went on a 60 ft sailboat called the Rum Runner. Ah, glorious sailboats! Unfortunately I got a bit turned around that morning, and we headed in a direction NOT towards the marina...fortunately we met up with a lovely young man who was headed to work (at the horrible hour of 6:30am!) who got us straightened out. We got to the marina even with enough time to get Josh some breakfast. Here's our boat, with captain Jase and host Becky (she is a great cook!).

Don't let this blue sky fool you. The one issue with our trip was the weather! Winds and waves and barely any sun peeking through those clouds. Thank goodness it was still quite warm.

Sunrays through the clouds at our protected little spot behind a cay (which is also a bird and turtle sanctuary).

Josh doing another intro scuba dive! Poor me and my history of pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema (back when I tried an intro dive) didn't get to go. It's ok, though, I really like snorkeling better. It's too dark down there.

Bat fish that hung around the boat--they are large and super cute.

Hi Josh!

Can't wait to get a sailboat. Someday. We had a fabulous time at the reef, saw turtles almost every time we went snorkeling (which was at least twice a day!), tons and tons of beautiful fish and coral, Nemos, a blue spotted ray, sea cucumbers, all that lovely stuff.

The next day we had a rainforest tour booked--lots of time in a minivan, which got a bit tiring, but more beautiful things to see and a terrific driver/guide that grew up in the area (and he is Aboriginal), and told us Dreaming stories, and gave a FANTASTIC rainforest tour when we were in the Daintree. Granted, I can't remember all the details now, but he told us the names of so many plants and trees, and stories about them, and way that the Aboriginal people used them (medicines and the like). I was mightily impressed.
Here's the Mossman Gorge. Josh didn't get to swim in it cause it was so high with all the recent rainfall. Sad.

This was supposed to be a view of a mountain. Nice, huh?

Our guide George at the Daintree Wildlife Centre.

Green ants--aren't they cute? The picture is actually right side up--these guys are all walking upside down.

Here's a cassowary--a very large, flightless bird that lives in the Wet Tropics of Australia. Funny looking guy. Don't tell him I said that. The thing on top of his head is a casque, which is a horn-like but soft and spongy crests. These consist of a keratinous skin over a core of firm, cellular foam like material. Even more fun! No one knows exactly what it's for.

These fan palms are my favorite. So pretty!

Pretty trees.

Josh loving the kindle.
Super funny cassowary sign. On the top it says 'chill out, not flat out.' In case you couldn't tell, the sign used to be just a little half circle (the cassowary's stomach) for the speed bump.

The beach at Cape Tribulation.

Cool flower that only blooms for 24 hours, and is yellow first, and then turns to pick. Curiouser and curiouser.

Then we got to go on a Daintree River cruise and look for crocodiles. We saw 3!

Now off to Bali.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! It sounds like you had fun despite the weather. And your Daintree trek sounds awesome! Have fun in Bali.