Saturday, March 9, 2019

March 9, 2019.    Cairns, AZ.          57/182

"Only I can change my life.  No one can do it for me."   Carol Burnett 

Cairns has a tropical climate which is evident by the lush, green vegetation. Beautiful sail in.

Merrilynne went on a tour of the city while Howard took a charter boat about 50 km to snorkel on an other reef area.  We landed on a stationary platform, which was anchored by a reef in shallow enough water for snorkelling.  By the way, our hosts are very upset with the false reports by Leonardo DiCaprio and others that the reef is dead.  Yes, recent events, including a rise in ocean temperatures, exceptional cyclone activity and excessive runoff from the continent due to heavy rains have resulted in bleaching and some stress but the reefs are still vibrant. Long term action is required to reverse the slow deterioration of reef health.

Due to the slight risk of being stung by several venomous species, we were provided Lycra dive suits which covered everything but your face.  Risks included the sea wasp (Box jellyfish) which will kill you in two minutes if at least 2 metres of their tentacles contact your skin!

I found the snorkelling to be excellent, with numerous vibrant fish species, dozens of coral varieties everywhere and cool creatures like a 4' wide clam making for a memorable experience.  I watched a wrasse cleaning a huge grouper, as he patiently hoovered with his mouth wide open, letting it swim into while eating parasites.

I did not have an underwater camera, so the pictures are taken from a submarine and from a viewing area under the platform. 

On our way to the outer reef area to snorkel

Stationary dive platforn

Color change indicates where the coral ends as water depth drops to about 60'

Sea cucumber - They ingest coral for the algae and help the reef by cleaning the coral.

Shots taken from inside the platform.

Box Jellyfish.  If tenticles measuring 2 metres of more come in full contact with your skin, you will be dead in a couple minutes~

Lion Fish, very poisonous invasive species to the Caribbean

This clam grows up to 6 feet across

Another monster clam, 8'

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