Thursday, August 11, 2016

Australia ~ Day 11

April 12th, 2016

11 amazing days on vacation.  Hard to believe we were getting down to the halfway mark already but we still had so much to do and see that there was no way we were letting the halfway mark get us down!

Today ~ Today was going to be BUSY!


The Great Barrier Reef was in our sights!

Before you get started on this blog can you do me a favor,
please let me know if the videos are working or not.  
I loaded them and it will not let me view them right now
so please let me know if they work!  
Thank you!!!

We woke up early again, like every other day so far this vacation.  Today I had the excitement of a little kid.  The Great Barrier Reef was on mom's bucket list since before I can even remember.  She used to be a certified diver, she knew the water and how to dive and all that fun stuff.  I remember her telling me how much she dreamed about the Great Barrier Reef.  And today, TODAY was her day!  Granted I was excited too but man, to dive the reef, of all places in the world, I hope she will never forget it.

Our day started with this 6:50am......

How could that be anything but an amazing start to what was going to be a day we'll never forget!

Then the walk to the pier, which was really just about a block from our hotel, and to wait to load.

Before we got on the boat they took pictures of us.....

and on the boat we were able to sit wherever we wanted to......

After we were on board they had us fill out paperwork for things we wanted to do on the reef.  If it was just snorkeling, diving, the water helmet dive, helicopter ride, glass bottom boat, etc.  Mom and I decided on the snorkeling and the water helmet dive to start and if we wanted to do more after we were out there we would sign up then.  Because of her medical conditions and my open heart surgery they were not sure if we could do any diving at all.  At this point I shed a few tears because I didn't want to be the reason mom couldn't dive but it all turned out ok.

I've never snorkeled before, never dove, never been underwater with some type of thing used to breath.  So for me, putting my head under water the very first time with the snorkel I thought I was going to suffocate!  LOL  I know, it sounds funny but my brain really didn't think I could still breath if my face was under water.  It took just a few minutes to get used to and once I figured it out, there was no way I was staying out of the water for long LOL

I couldn't believe how far above the ground we were to start.  It was a huge drop and if you're afraid of heights I could totally understand how this would have been an issue.  But once you were out over the reef, life seemed to just slow down and become so much more enjoyable!  Where we started off snorkeling is the same spot the divers started, they were just below us :)

Our fist trip out together we went with a dive instructor.  She was amazing!  She really knew so much about the reef and all it's inhabitants.  She showed us the fish and clams and so much more!  The hardest part of this was holding on to the life float and letting your legs just float behind you.  You didn't have to kick or nothing, just keep your legs and feet up and you were pulled around.  It was so much fun!

I had 2 GoPro 4's with me for this part of our vacation.  I was told to buy the red lens (which I did) and it would make the photos taken underwater look better.  I'm not sure I agree but then again, I'm NOT a pro at underwater photography so.......even some of the videos had bad red tints to them but they are all still very beautiful!

My very first video of the reef.  It's just a small little clip of a huge video but the whole thing wouldn't fit on here so small clips will be what you get to see of the amazing Great Barrier Reef.

After that initial tour we had some free time to do our own thing before the helmet dive.  We also got the chance to eat some yummy food!!!

Picture of me way out in the water, hanging on to a check point life raft thingy with my GoPro in one hand :)  Such an amazing experience!

More video clips taken with my go pro.  I'm not a professional underwater picture taker by no means.  This was a learning experience for me.  But let me tell you, if I could do this for the rest of my life I sure would!!!!

The helmet dive was something way different then I expected.  I guess I don't know 100% what I thought it was but yeah, another experience I did that I don't mind if I never do again.  LOL  It was very cool and so amazing to get to do it with my mom, but the helmet was huge and awkward and yeah, fun for the time and so glad I got to do it, and checked off my bucket list so I don't have to do it again.

These two videos below were taken while we were helmet diving.  You might want to turn you sound down as the air pumping into the helmets is quite loud.

And the helmet dive wrapped up our time on the Reef.  Man was it a LONG day!  But totally worth every single second we spent out there.

And to end this part of the day, I'll leave you with a few snapshots of the videos I took.  I'm not sure how great these are going to look for ya'll but figured I'd try and see if it worked.

Our ride back to shore was long it seemed.  It was a great day spent on/in the water.  And with the suit I was wearing I only sunburnt the tops of my hands (opps LOL)  Here's a few photos of our trip back in.

That night we did decide to do a little bit of walking around town and we saw this amazing walkway

And stopped at a McDonalds for dinner

Wasn't too terrible but still nothing like an American McDonalds LOL

Tomorrow........we see a tree FULL of bats (yuck), go to Trinity Beach, shopping and just enjoy a lazy afternoon.  Hard to believe today actually happened......

~Till Next Time~

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