Australian Coral Reefs

During our week in Far North Queensland, we took two snorkeling trips on the coral reefs. The first (and better) was Quicksilver Cruises' deep reef trip on a big boat where we snorkeled from a pontoon platform. The second (and not quite as good) trip was from the beaches of Fitzroy Island, which is much closer to the mainland.

The good part about the Fitzroy trip is that we stayed overnight on the island's resort so one or both of us snorkeled both mornings and both afternoons, as opposed to the hurry-hurry feel of the outer reef (not to mention that we also saw island plants and animals on a couple of hikes). The bad parts were that Ingrid had some minor seasickness from our trip on a smaller boat; coral (as opposed to sandy) beaches are uncomfortable to walk on; the water seemed to be cloudier and the coral less colorful compared to the deep reef, though after doing some automatic adjustments on the photos they look comparable.

We recommend getting "stinger suits" (lycra bodysuits) even if you aren't being told there are jellyfish in the water and even if you feel they look unflattering on you. The big benefit is that you basically don't have to worry about sunburn or sunscreen, as the lycra blocks UV. Just about the only thing exposed is your face, and hopefully you have it stuck underwater 90% of the time. I didn't burn my back and shoulders after hours of snorkeling—it was the 20 minutes in an inland freshwater pool later in the week when I finally got a sunburn worth complaining about!

Each time, we rented ("hired") an underwater camera (basic P&S cameras with underwater enclosures), and got a few good pictures from the process.

Please forgive us for not attempting to identify the coral or fish in each photo.

Note that the 2xxx image numbers are from Fitzroy and 6xxx image numbers are from the deep reef, which is the reverse of the true order of our trips

P.S. the lizard is a Goanna and is the major land-based predator of the island.



Entry first conceived on 3 February 2014, 22:33 UTC, last modified on 3 February 2014, 22:44 UTC
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