On a nice sunny day in Cairns I booked a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef. I went with a few other people I had met in town. We were well prepared: we all bought a new bikini, flip-flops and an underwater camera case. And with my background in swimming, snorkeling should have been pretty easy.
However, all the marine wildlife hides in the reef which is located deeper under the sea surface. This particular fact makes it quite hard to snorkel, at least if you want to get some good shots of the colorful reef and its tons of different fishes. I had to digest a lot of gulps of salty water to get the shots I was after.
But boy was it worth the trouble! Of course I had already heard lots about the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef but seeing it with my own eyes was mesmerizing. Swimming with a turtle beside me and seeing a shark, luckily from afar, was unreal! But it would only get better.
After 2 hours of snorkeling we got an initiation in diving. This course taught us some diving basics and then we got our oxygen tanks and had to follow a rope to unknown deeps of the sea. Well, that might be a bit exaggerated because as beginners we only got to dive to 12 meters under sea level.
At first, it was a bit of a struggle as I couldn’t get down. The instructor saw this and immediately decided to get some weights to put on the straps of the tank. This did the trick, I could go deeper and deeper, until I found Nemo! And not just one clownfish, but about five of them, unforgettable scenes! As Finding Nemo is one of my favorite Disney films, this encounter was the absolute highlight of my day, mission accomplished!