capt log #13 2010

Great Barrier Reef

Here I am idleing along 25 miles off Cairns’ Harbour’s entrance through the Great Barrier Reef. The entrance looks really wide on the map, but our official policy is to do reef entrances during daylight hours only. (unless real inconvenient) This time we are anxious to get our first glimpse of the world famous reef. Six days ago we left Solomon Islands for Papu New Guinea, about a 250 mile trip. Made too many left turns, missed the Islands and 1000 miles later we are in Australia, should have bought the 2$ good map.

Martha has been talking a lot about doing one of the shark encounters, the one where you get in the cage. Last night I brought up how we need to get it set up asap so as not to miss out and all, but it seems the closer we get, the less Martha’s enthusiasm. We will see! Might be the place to use some professional help and guidance, even if it does go against all my “real man” Southern upbringing. I hear they have swimming areas with shark nets, croc nets, and box jellyfish nets(?????) . People seem to fear the box jellyfish the most? Just seems to me that some of the enjoyment of the “wild and free” feeling would be lost if you have to swim in a cage.

Not much to see though as we made the reef passage, looked like ocean. As per everywhere in Oz all the officials, Coast Guard, and marina personnel efficient and good at their jobs. Did irritate me to have to pay double for the quarantine man to come down on a Sunday and throw all our stuff away. Martha by being her usual charming and sweet self, was able to divert the man away from the really good stuff, I had to leave to keep from laughing.

We are now officially here, tied securely to a dock, had a pizza and beer from the restaurant about 100 feet away, now turn on a/c, damn the diesel fuel, and hope for at least 24 hours of uninterrupted sleep.