Rocking on the boat

We arrived on the most precious spot in the world, the Great Barier Reef. The voyage over was hardly easy though. We left from UQ campus on a bus at midnight. We drive for 2 hours before stopping for a bathroom and snack break. I slept the rest of the way until we pulled into a Maccers for breakfast at 7am.  After, we had to wait 3 hours for our ferry to depart from the terminal.  We hung out in the grass field, stretching out after the bus, napping, and tossing a ball around before we boarded.  The ferry ride started off smoothly. We went in the main cabin deck which was windowed in with tables and chair groups.  They had music playing and an undersea video playing. We cruised out of the harbor looking back at large coal barges. About an hour into the ride came the rougher seas which meant seasickness.  I tried to close my eyes and not think about how uncomfortable I felt.  Unfortunately, when everyone else around you starts to get sick, the sounds and smells are two overwhelming and I lost it – twice. After the first time, I sat back down thinking I would be okay but, no.  So after I went out on the stern deck with the other sicklings for the rest of the ride.

The sicklings on the stern of the ferry.Photo Credit: Kyler Rowle

Photo credit to Kyler who captured us having the most miserable time – green faces, grasping the stern rail for stability over the waves, drenched in saltwater, and trying to contain our stomach contents

Arriving into the dock I realized what a beautiful island we were going to be staying on. The water is a light turquoise with patches of coral from the shore out to sea.  The sand was white with broken coral bits and shells.  We disembarked and walked on the dock, so shaky.  We were brought to the right side of the island to the research station where we had and introduction and picked our rooms. We then had a big lunch to make up for what we lost overboard. Then, in the afternoon we took a walk during lowtide on the shore’s reef flats. I saw lots of species of coral, clams, and sea cucumber were abundant and ranged in size, I even saw a ray.  I’m excited for what I’ll see tomorrow when we go snorkeling!

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