Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
Life Achievement Unlocked-
We all knew the Nemo reference had to be made right?
We took a 3 day, 2 night “sleep on the reef” excursion.
And this time we rented an underwater camera to make sure we caught everything.
Especially the sea turtle…
What the Great Barrier reef taught us was that our friends we sailed to Tahiti with were right:
Learning to dive in the South Pacific Islands is a really great way to set yourself up to be underwhelmed by just about anything else.
Don’t get us wrong, the Great Barrier Reef was amazing! We spent days exploring exotic corals and had about 20 minutes alone with a sea turtle who was very gracious and let us take all the pictures we wanted.
But a storm had just blown through so the water was a little murky and people are right in that parts of the reef are suffering from “bleaching.” Also the Great Barrier Reef is firmly on the traveled tourist trail and we took a packaged tour that went to well traversed standard dive sites instead of wandering off on a private yacht like we did in the South Pacific. When thousands of people per year for over a decade dive the exact same spot it’s going to have an effect.
And come on – Greg’s barometer for a “good dive” falls somewhere between-
Swimming with a baby humpback whale,
Diving under an island,
Watching 250 sharks school in front his face,
And having butterfly fish poke him in the nose.
It’s kind of a high bar.
What we’re saying here is that the Great Barrier Reef didn’t get a fair comparison to the other places we dove and despite that, it still delivered a high value experience.
In 3 days with 3 dives per day you do get a lot of opportunity to explore and we were actually really pleasantly surprised by what we got on film. While the reef wasn’t as clear as Niue and the coral in Rangiroa just popped a little brighter, the Great Barrier Reef did have the major advantage of being quite shallow which translated into two very important benefits:
1- Even when it’s overcast, there’s still enough light to get good pictures and see stuff.
2- You didn’t have to dive deep in order to get into the thick of the action. Shallow dives translated to a lot more dives per day in total.
Which means a lot more cool stuff to show you:
Feel free to double check us and we’re pretty sure we count 8 characters from the movie.
So we spent 3 days doing nothing but frolicking with sea turtles and chasing clown fish. While we recommend you check out the Great Barrier Reef might we also recommend the Islands of French Polynesia for a dive?
You know, because it’s important to have the correct perspective.
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!