A Visit To Paradise
|Pancakes and smoothies at Espresso and Co. in Palm Cove|
Not only could we stroll along the beach, but we were close to excellent dining. Each morning we enjoyed eating at Espresso & Co, a great breakfast joint with outdoor seating, a view of the ocean and beautifully prepared food. One unexpected addition to their pancakes is a scoop of ice cream!
|Snapper with coconut curry sauce and|
Clare Valley Pinot Gris at Neptune's
As much as we enjoyed the accommodations, a key reason we chose it was the location as a staging point for some unique excursions.
The Great Barrier Reef
Our day on the water was orchestrated by Reef Magic Cruises, and they did a nice job. We boarded a large and fast catamaran heading out to the GBR. Green Dragon took some Dramamine to offset any sea sickness. I’ve never had any problems – but then again, it was mighty rough on the water with the water splashing high on the windows and numerous passengers clutching paper bags and darting to the rest rooms.
|Inside the submersible|
We also found the submersible superior to the glass bottom boat, which was the next on our agenda. The water was choppy during our visit, and so it was difficult for the ship’s captain to position the boat over items of interest.
Into The Waters
|Snorkeler watching fish feeding|
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest structure made by living organisms. It can be seen from space and stretches for 1,400 miles. Unfortunately, it is under siege from pollution and warming ocean temperatures.
Where The Heck Are My Photos?
As we snorkeled along, I was snapping like crazy, taking what I felt were epic shots. Angelfish, Butterflyfish, the giant Wrasse, surgeon fish and a slew of other colorful fish darted by. Underwater was a palette of blues and greens accented with the yellows, blues, orange and blacks of the fish. The coral shows great diversity with some very cool brain coral and the occasional staghorn and elkhorn corals. Click, click, click.
When we finally surfaced, I went to the camera to view my works of art. WHAT! There was nothing, nada. I hadn’t realized that the camera had an automatic shutoff. It’s a bit tricky getting a good shot underwater. We were kicking our swim fins against the current, I was hanging on to Green Dragon and then I was trying to catch photos with the camera dangling on my wrist.
Back on Marine World we went up to the sundeck. Around us the waters varied in shades of sapphire blue and lighter aqua where the reefs approached the surface. A nice cooling breeze wafted the Australian flag as we soaked up the sun before boarding the catamaran for our return trip.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Depending on your excursion, it also comes with a buffet lunch! We highly recommend visiting this inspiring location.