Cairns, Australia - Great Barrier Reef

The SeaStar was our chosen vessel to get us out to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) as it was smaller than most of the tourist charters.  This one takes a max of 36 divers and snorkelers, a reasonable amount compared to some that take 175!

Leaving Cairns Harbor

We had also selected the SeaStar Charter as it stops at Michaelmas Cay, a birders dream spot.

Michaelmas Cay from a distance
and close up!

The island is a bird refuge and has approximately 30,000 birds on it.  Tom had a wonderful time, 500 shots worth, and Dad and I snorkeled at this stop.

The company does a great job of getting the people moved on and off the boat, participating in a group snorkel, then are given free time to continue snorkeling if they choose.
Ollie of Denmark, giving the snorkelers instructions on gear and protocol

After a round of snorkel at Michaelmas Cay, a buffet lunch was served before moving on to Hastings Reef, about a 30 minute run.

Tom and I snorkeling on Hasting Reef on the Great Barrier reef!

The snorkeling was good, and the locations that we were at seemed to be in pretty good shape.  The dive masters all thought the reef was in great shape.  There is quite a variety of corals, and fish.
Once I figure out how to put short videos here, I'll be able to share with you my green turtle and white tipped reef shark photos!!! Yes, we swam with a 5' long white tipped shark.  I got footage of it after it swam right underneath me.   The turtle didn't seem to care much about a group of fumbling tourists trying to get close enough for a photo.

and the 'Traveling Hats" are at the Great Barrier Reef!
The rest of the reef fish are colorful and delightful.  Similar to the Sea of Cortez, yet different too.  I must say, we've been spoiled by some of the snorkeling we've done in the Sea.


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