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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The outer reef

Pictures from our day at the outer reef:

Brett and I literally felt like royalty yesterday! We have a friend who works on a boat, Quicksilver, that goes out to the outer Agincourt reef and he said he could take us out as a guest! Let me just start off by saying that this is a very generous thing to do because trips to the reef are expensive. However, this is a slow part of the season so adding an extra two people to the 150 already going on a boat that holds 400 is not really a big deal. It was so most amazing day EVER! This boat, Quicksilver, goes out to the very outermost part of the Great Barrier Reef where they have a pontoon permanently parked out there with tables and chairs to sit at, all their diving and snorkeling equipment, a helicopter pad, glass bottom boats for viewing, fresh water showers, a kitchen and so much more! It is the perfect site to show up at to enjoy entire day out on the reef! Upon entering the boat we immediately started to see other people we know, work with or have a met a few times. Let me tell you how the day happened!

First, our buddy who got us on the boat, another Brett, brought us along as guests so we only paid $22 each for a $202 trip! So, already feeling very special and excited we boarded the boat, got a cup of tea, took our seats and started planning our day! As we were chatting away my friend Amy, who I also work with at The Beach Shack, came up and asked us if we wanted to dive today!!!! Um, yea of course! She set us up with an introductory dive for free, then she walked over with our paperwork and an underwater camera, again, for free!!! Unbelievable. So, already feeling even MORE special we head downstairs in the boat to pick up our stinger suits, which are usually $5 a piece but somehow the lady asked us where we lived and with our reply of in Port Douglas gave us local status so she gave us those for free! The boat hasn't even departed and we are already having such a great time! On the ride out we were wandering around the boat and we bumped into a guy who seemed like he was trying to sell his snorkel trip to a more remote place on the outer reef. His name is John and he is a marine biologist so there is no doubt you would learn a lot on his snorkel tour. we chatted with him for a few minutes and Brett soon realized he had seen him out on Low Isles so we had 3 things going for us: 1. He knew Brett worked on a boat, 2. He is originally from Redondo Beach so we had that in common and 3. We are locals in Port Douglas. All three of these things got us a free snorkel tour each which usually costs $30 each!

Alright, so we are on the boat and let me tell you this was an awesome ride! The boat is huge and so smooth and where it takes Brett's catamaran 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to Low Isles, it took this monster catamaran boat 20! We had a very nice, smooth and leisurely trip out to the outer reef and we arrived before we even knew it! Upon arriving to the pontoon we checked in with our dive instruction, picked up all our equipment and had a our brief intro before our dive! The diving on the Great Barrier Reef is so cool! There were so many fish, colors, creatures and it was simply beautiful! We did our intro dive, which was so much fun, ate some lunch, took a glass bottom boat tour because our friend Brett was driving, went on a snorkel tour to a less busy part of reef, rinsed off in the showers and got back on the boat just as it was leaving!

On the ride back we relaxed, chatted with our German friend who dove in our group and waited until our video was ready to be viewed. Yes, our entire dive was videoed by Amy and we had a chance to buy it at the end of the day if we wanted. It included a video made by the Quicksilver company of life on the Great Barrier Reef, our personal dive and a sheet of pictures of all the individual fish we saw. This set usually sells for $106 but yes, again, Amy is amazing and she gave us everything for free!

It was really amazing. We went on a boat as guests thinking it would be a great day to see another part of the reef and we ended up having literally the trip of a lifetime for practically nothing. We also found it amazing that we knew about 1/2 the crew before we even left the marina so it was first class local service all day! We are so thankful and had such an amazing time!

Pictures of: The pontoon, a giant clam, wearing stinger suits, diving, and Brett and Brett with the boat!

A boat ride to the outer reef for 2: $404
Stinger suits for 2: $10
Intro dive for 2: $280
Snorkel tour for 2: $60
DVD and video from our dive: $106
Underwater camera: $60
Total: $920
Our price: $47!!!!

1 comment:

Bob said...

What a wonderful experience you guys had. It must have been awesome. Those Aussies are a friendly and generous bunch for sure. Thanks for the very cool T-shirt and the thoughtful B-day card. Love, Dad