Great Barrier Reef
From the outback, in the Northern Territory, we travel to coastal Queensland. First stop, the seaside village of Palm Cove. The area was also a rest stop for Capt. Cook. Our hotel was across the street from the beach and a perfect spot to view the sunrise and welcome the day with a mimosa toast. Way to go, Mike!
Our beautiful hotel just across from the beach.
What a great guide! Mike was always spoiling us. Mimosas and a stunning sunrise!
After our champagne toast and watching the sun come up, we walked along the beach to the pier. Lucky dogs, getting to walk this every day.
I'm not sure I'd want to go swimming along here. At least they provide First Aid for stingers, but what about the crocs? There was an enclosed area for swimming, but still...
What a peaceful start to a beautiful day.
Some of my favorite pictures - the two little birds and the view of the pier.
Palm Cove Sunrise
Great Barrier Reef - Michaelmas Cay
It was a warm and sunny day to sail on the catamaran to Michaelmas Cay, a National Park and protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. We first went on a semi-submersible to see the coral reef and marine life. We were able to see some of the coral bleachings that occurred in 2016 and 2017 because of very warm water temperatures. Fortunately, our guide said the reef seems to be slowly coming back, but the continued global warming will remain a threat to its survival.
The submersible gave us a good view of the coral reef. Of course, the fish and turtles that were seen happened to be on the other side from where I was sitting.
Enlightening talk by the onboard marine biologist about the reef and the marine life found there.
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
First, we have to get into our wetsuits. Not an easy chore but we did it and had an amazing time snorkeling the reef at Michaelmas Cay. Lots of different types of coral, colorful fish, and giant clams that opened their mouths if you swam close. I wish I'd taken an underwater camera.
(there are no sharks, there are no sharks, there are no sharks....)
Common Brown Noddy (above) and Brown Booby (right)
Michaelmas Cay is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the Great Barrier Reef. It's home to at least 23 species. During the nesting and breeding season(summer months), over 20,000 have been observed (imagine the smell).
After a long and wonderful day, we return to the hotel...