Island Day

Today was pretty good. We took a one hour cruise on a semi-submersible boat along the reef edge. I’m not sure what the submersible part is; you just go below deck and look out big windows (think Disneyland’s old submarines, but with a better view). There were only four guests that signed-up, so we got a pretty good tour. We saw several types of coral (stag horn, plate, brain, etc…), and tons of fish. There were even a couple turtles that swam by. I tried to take a few pictures, but I don’t think they’ll turn out.

After the “sub” ride, we went on a guided walk of the research station on the island. It’s really pretty good sized and can accommodate over 100 researchers. It’s run by the University of Queensland and is focused on studying the biology of the reef and islands. At the end of the tour, we got to check out some animals in an aquarium and a touch-tank. The sea-hare was pretty weird. We also got to watch a sea-star flip over (it took a few minutes, but was still cool). Overall, it was a very educational morning.

After lunch, we took a nap and then went snorkeling. We only saw one shark this time (a blacktip reef shark), but we did see several rays. The fish here are really different from what we saw in Hawaii. There we saw a lot less variety and more schools. Here, there’s tons of variety, and not much schooling (at least where we snorkeled). Once we got tired of snorkeling, we watched the sun set and had dinner. Island life is pretty nice.