Today, we went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. We all got up and rushed to our car that was waiting for us. We drove for a while, and soon arrived at the wharf where our boat was. It was a huge wharf with many yachts, sailboats and many boats that were for snorkeling or scuba diving. We walked along the wharf to our boat, The Monsoon. Brooke and I couldn’t help but run around the boat, looking at all the little beds, windows and compartments. We got our stuff unpacked and then sat down to relax and hear all the safety information for our day out at sea on the Great Barrier Reef. We had an hour and 45-minute boat ride to Horseshoe Reef, which was one of the most outer reefs in Tongue Reef. We arrived at our destination anxious to get off the boat and start exploring the underwater world.
We tried on masks and fins, and hopped in the water. I went with Dad and we started swimming and looking at all the coral and fish in the water. We swam all around the boat looking at all the underwater animals. Above water, it looks like murky, green or blue water, but underwater there are reds, yellows, pinks, oranges, purples, blues and greens. It is so colorful and beautiful looking at all the fish swimming, Sea cucumbers inching around on the ocean floor, starfish sticking to rocks and coral laying there like miniature underwater forests.
We swam in our first location for about 30-45 minutes, and then hopped back on the boat to eat lunch. The lunch was amazing with many meats, salads and fruits that all tasted delicious. After we ate, Brooke and I got to choose where we were going to go for the second reef. After we chose the location, we learned how to drive the boat. We also learned the nautical names of the different parts of a boat. Left is the port side. Right is called the starboard side. The front of a boat is called the bow and the back is referred to as the stern.
When we got to the second location, we learned that it was an undiscovered reef, so we got to name it! We named it Lacrosse Reef, because we all love lacrosse. At Lacrosse Reef, we got back into the water again to do more exploring. This time, I swam with Mom. We swam really far out to get near the coral, because our boat had to be really far away from the coral reef, since the tide was so low. When we finally got to the reef, the first thing I saw were these miniature electric blue fish that sparkled in the water. We kept swimming deeper and deeper into the coral reef. We saw these amazing navy blue starfish that had white stripes on the edges of their little arms and there were these beautiful clams that were so cool and the size of large breed dog, like my dog, Tembo who I am missing.
When we headed back to the boat, we had to go through a maze of coral. There was a large coral boulder we had to swim around and coral we had to swim under that was almost surfacing, due to the low tide at the time, and even had to swim over coral that almost scratched our stomachs.
When we got back on the boat, the captain let us go on the second level and jump off the top of the boat and into the water, which was so cool and fun. After snorkeling and jumping off the boat, we all headed back for the long boat ride home again. We had an awesome day in the great barrier reef.
Facts about the Great Barrier Reef:
- The whole reef is made up of 2,700 individual reefs.
- The Great Barrier Reef is 2,300 km long (1,600 miles), which is about as long as the entire west coast of the U.S.
- At beaches, they leave a bottle of vinegar, in case someone is stung by a box jellyfish, because vinegar doesn’t let the stinging cells go off in the jellyfish tentacle.
- Not all coral that is exposed to the sun during low tide dies, some coral can survive short periods without water and extreme sun exposure.
- Some types of coral can produce their own type of sunscreen.