Day 5: January 12, 2014
My first day trip excursion was to Green Island and Norman Reef, both part of the Great Barrier Reef. The day started out rainy but by the time we got to Green Island the rain had stopped and there were high clouds mixed with sunshine. The island was quite interesting. It is home to a small resort and the island is protected by the Australian government. It was approximately 10 miles from the coast.
I walked around the island, checked out the beaches and snorkeling area. They had shops, restaurants, and a nice pool for hotel guests and those on the excursion I took. The snorkeling didn’t look that great so I didn’t go. I later found that one had to go much further from the coast of the island to see the reef. The island also had a lot of forestation, like a jungle with boardwalk paths through it.
After about two hours, on to Norman Reef, about an hour away. This reef was on the outer barrier. You could see the continental shelf in the distance where the water was a decidedly a dark blue. We puled up to a pontoon moored just before the reef. This became our base of operation for scuba diving, snorkeling, eating, and sun bathing. It was also the base to a semi-submersible submarine that took us around the reef. That was cool, but not nearly as great as snorkeling in the reef itself. I have been to many reefs in the Caribbean, but this had the most colorful coral and most fish.