A magical place. Even though we only had three nights in the whitsundays our experience was incredible! We stayed the first two nights on Haymen Island. Our first day in Haymen island we took a boat to the Great Barrier Reef (both the outer reef and the inner reef). The boat ride to the outer reef was not what we expected! The swells were about 6 feet so the ride was an adventure for sure. As the captain would say, “it’s about to get hectic”. Although the boat ride was uncomfortable due to the conditions on the sea, we saw a few whales along the way and even a mother and calf! It is whale migration season so there are tons of whales migrating to Antarctica this time of year along the coast of Australia. At the outer reef Andrew and I dove as the rest of the family snorkeled. It was truly a breathtaking experience. My entire life I have always wanted to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. To finally see this vast and beautiful ecosystem was overwhelming. My eyes were wide as I took in my surroundings. There were large wrasse with blue lips swimming around us, large clusters of reef plate and brain coral, sea anemones, crevices to explore, and walls of coral to scale. It was amazing to me that even though the surface of the water was far from still once under the surface it was completely calm. Andrew motioned to me at one point telling me to listen to whale sounds which can be heard under water. Annie, mom, dad, and Henry loved snorkeling although it was very wavy! We got back on the boat and had a yummy barbecue lunch prepared right on the boat! The wrasses swarmed when a small piece of meat was thrown in the water.
After lunch we headed back to the inner reef which is a more protected area of the Great Barrier Reef. The ride back was even more treacherous as the wind picked up! It was quite an adventure and we were all excited when we felt the ocean start to calm. We did a second dive and snorkel at the inner reef. The inner reef was just as majestic as the outer reef! Andrew and I saw a moray eel, a sea cucumber, beautiful clams, a countless amount of different species of beautiful corals and anemones, and schools of fish! The captain told us about a wrasse named George who was always hanging around this reef. The snorkelers were able to get really close to George and play around with him as he loves hanging out by the boats and playing wth snorkelers. All six of us were truly in awe of the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. It was unlike anything I have ever seen and it far exceeded my expectations! Here is a link to the video I made from the GoPro footage of the dive! – https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=b5Hohn3p7Ts
We are now headed back to Sydney and mom, dad, Andrew, and Annie will continue on to Boston. Henry and I are so grateful that the family traveled so far to come experience our new home with us! We cannot wait to continue to share our experiences with you. In true aboriginal spirit, it is not goodbye it is only see you soon!