Our traveller Sindhuu Govindarajan explored and fell in love with the Great Barrier Reef. Here’s her love story in her own words.
I wrote the shortest travelogue of 4 lines after one of my trips and realised why the greatest people have the shortest epitaphs.Helicopter, Ship, Jet Boat, Submarine, Planes, Bus, Train, Car, Buggy, Cycle, Ferry… Swim Walk, Dive, Run, Snorkel, Cycle… Cliffs, Reefs, Rain forests, Cities, Hills, Gorges, Beaches, Beaches… Whales, Koalas, Penguins, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Jelly Fish, Corals, Wallabies, Nemo… Truly, there’s Nothing like Australia!!!
This two part series is a collection of my experiences in Australia that left an indelible Aussie imprint in my mind. Part-1 of this series is about a destination that brings together the elements of sea plane, reefs, Dive, snorkel, corals & Nemo – The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef, aptly named so, is spread over 2000+ Kms and is the single largest living organism that can be seen be from outer space. Almost 98% of the visitors to this natural wonder access it via the city of Cairns in Queensland. However, me being the eternal sucker for experiences that the 98% of the world never does, I decided to access the Great Barrier Reef via another natural wonder called “The Whit Sunday Islands”.
The Whitsunday islands are a group 72 islands around the reef with only 7 of them inhabited. The largest of these 7 is the Hamilton Island, which also has a runway & hence has becomes the gateway to this exotic group of islands. My plan was to fly into Hamilton Island, explore these exotic Whit Sunday islands & then access the Great Barrier Reef from there, to experience something that only 2% of the world does. As the Whitsunday islands deserve a separate page by itself, I’m going to restrict this page to pay a tribute only to the Great Barrier Reef. Landing in Hamilton, I was all set to make love to the Great Barrier Reef in all ways possible. And boy, did I experience it in different ways- 5 to be precise 🙂
Me on Top via Sea Plane
I knew I may not be able to verify if this reef was truly the only living thing to be seen from outer space, but the next best thing I could do was to at least test this from inner space! So I decided to board a sea plane and take a flight over the reef. The guilt of the price was more than compensated with orgasmic views from the top, throughout the 1 hour flight. This flight made me so glad for having chosen the Whit Sunday island route to access the Reef, as just the islands & their pristine white sand beaches made up for the cost I paid for the flight, even before I reached the reef region.
The sea plane hovered for 5 mins over one of the worlds most beautiful & virgin beaches- The White haven beach of the Whit Sundays, and the whiteness of the sands was so stark even from so high up, reinforcing why this was on the list of world’s most beautiful beaches. And then suddenly there was a change in water color with a clear border demarcating light blue and turquoise green. It looked like an engineered canvas with perfect borders and was hard to believe I was looking at rippling water- The end of the angel sea & the start of the 2000km Great Barrier Reef was a sight to behold. From here, it was a play of different shades of green & blue with shades of brown in between, changing with the angles of the sun, as if an artist was painting it right then.
At one point, the pilot pointed out what he called The hart Reef, which true to its name was a huge brown & green heart right in the middle of an ocean of turquoise Reef. After exploring more such regions of the reef, the sea plane landed on a pontoon right outside the reef border, in the blue part of the ocean. This was but the start of my next way to experience this natural wonder.
Foreplay through a Snorkel
Having changed in to a full wet suit and flippers, I entered the water for some relaxed snorkelling in the reef. The pontoon was about 50m away from the reef so I had to swim that distance before I reached the border of the reef. The change in the underwater imagery was drastic, from plain blue water to corals of every possible shape & size starting at the border. Floating on my stomach and peering into this new world through my snorkel mask, I did not realize how 60 minutes flew by before it was time to return to the pontoon for the next experience.
Intense love through a dive
After the initial warm up through snorkeling, I was now geared up to go deeper into the wonder. This time, it was a magical colorful world inside the reef, with different streets inhabited by differently colored fish & color. The colors stretched on forever, truly making me understand why his was called the largest living thing. The most popular inhabitant of the Great Barrier Reef is the clown fish (made popular by the Disney animation film, Nemo). Schools of Nemo & its counterpart in the movie, the Banner fish could be seen in every lane of the reef. Just the feeling of diving in the world’s largest reef gave me goose bumps that I had to try hard not to smile, to ensure my breathing supply would not fall out of my mouth :).
A second orgasm through a Semi-submersible ride
My Hunger for the reef exploration was not even satiated after the dive & I decided to make love second time by going on a ride in the semi-submarine, right into the heart of the reef. Although this ride was not as colorful as the dive, due to it been only on the border of the reef where all the corals were bleached, this was made up by the champagne & cake served in the ride. Could not think of anything better to toast than to the Reef’s health, after seeing how miraculous a creation this was!
Farewell cuddling through a Cruise/boat
Last but not the least was a cruise back to Hamilton Island along the reef, giving me an opportunity to see the turquoise, blues & greens in greater details. Yes the painting I saw from the boat, was truly water & not canvas.
As I saw the reef receding behind me, I prayed fervently that my one-night stand with this natural wonder would grow into a long term relationship & I would get to make love to it very soon again.
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