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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Snorkeling at Cape Trib

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 12 January 2007 | Views [2043]

Blue starfish

Blue starfish

I had another amazing Aussie day, so I reckon I’ll tell you all. I woke up at 7:30 after being so exhausted last night. It’s so magical waking up in the middle of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. I got my free brekkie (breakfast) ticket and got baked beans and toast, and some water. I sat with Emily, who joined me on the rainforest walk last night. After eating, I went and got my bag, and ran up and waited for the bus. I’m hoping to take a scuba dive today, but I still have a bit of a stuffy nose, so I may not be able to. The bus came at 8:10 and we were on our way. We drove into Daintree National Park and parked at one of the only places in the world where the reef meets the rainforest. The guide told us that it’s the only spot in the world where two World Heritage sites overlap. Dee was telling us yesterday that box jellyfish are prevalent in this area and that if you’re stung, you should pour vinegar on the infected area. Well, on the beach, I saw a station with vinegar for if someone gets stung. We all got onto the raft and headed toward the boat. After several hundred meters, we were at the boat. We started sailing out toward the Great Barrier Reef, and I was in complete awe of the reef in front of me and the rainforest behind me.

I also had the ocean beneath me. We kept sailing for about an hour on the reef, and stopped like 50 miles or so off the Queensland Coast. The instructor gave a briefing over scuba diving, but he told me since I still have a slight cold, I should stick to snorkeling. Maybe I’ll go diving in the Gold Coast. I put on snorkeling gear and a stinger suit and jumped on in. I looked down and I was so amazed. I saw blue fish, yellow fish, black fish, multi-colored fish, many different types of coral, sea cucumbers, blue starfish and many different types of wildlife. It’s such a special feeling being in one of the most biologically diverse places in the entire world. When I was little I learned about the Great Barrier Reef, and now I’m here. I was able to go underwater with my snorkel about 10 or 15 feet or so; I got an ever better look at the coral and the fish. The instructor picked up a blue starfish to show me. It was so cool holding one in my hand. I went searching for my own then, and I found one about 5 minutes later. I kept snorkeling for about a half hour longer and then snorkeled back to the boat for lunch, with my starfish in hand. I got a photo of it, but I had to throw it back in the water. It would be nice to take one home, but they have to stay here. My father would pick on me for that, also. I got a Coke (since there was no Diet Coke) and didn’t eat much for lunch, because it was only cold food. The skipper then gave a talk about fish. The Reef has so many different types and colors of fish! After lunch, I was itching to snorkel again.  So, I put my stinger suit, flippers, mask, and snorkel all on and gave it another go. I saw many more different types of fish, because we moved to another spot. I also saw red coral and this magnificent, beautiful white coral. When you snorkel you have to be careful not to touch the coral because it gets damaged easily and can cause nasty infections if it cuts you. I felt like a fish as I swam around under the water through the coral. You would never believe that I was a very poor swimmer when I was young. Look at me now! I’m swimming in a tropical coral reef. Even the feeling of just being in Australia is so special. The feeling of being here a second time makes it extra special! I snorkeled away for about another hour and then went back to the boat. The stinger suit was hard to get off, but it protected me from jellyfish stings and further sunburn. Out across the boat, I could see a cay, which is what Green Island is, only this one was just sand. After everyone came in, there was fruit cake and a complimentary glass of dessert wine.

I got a picture with Terri, who lives here in Cape Tribulation with her boyfriend, Jonah. She has the most unique bikini. I also got a picture with this girl from Sweden. One thing I did differently today while snorkeling is that I took no pictures. Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy a trip if all you’re doing is taking pictures. I’ve only been here 4 days and I’ve already taken 400 pictures. I only took 750 photos in New Zealand last year. The cake was really good. We started to head back to the beach, and I paid the $10 reef tax, which I didn’t know about, but oh well. Whenever I travel, I feel like I should be paying a lot more! The ride back was very relaxing after one of the best days of my life. It lasted about an hour. I felt so happy that I took this trip on the Rum Runner. Also, because of Jonah, I’m a better snorkeler. He gave me instructions on how to go underwater with a snorkel. I’ve seen animals and things on this trip that are nowhere else on Earth. I took one last photo of where the reef meets the rainforest; as a final magical moment. I thanked everyone and told them I had heaps of fun, the Aussie way! After that we got in the van and drove back to PK’s I gave Mr. Hanley a phone call and he said he’d been worried about me because I haven’t emailed everyone these past few days. I’ve been traveling so much I haven’t even had a shower in three days! I told him how wonderful it is and that I’m having loads of fun. I got a Diet Coke, and then the bus picked us up at 4:30. The driver told us that he would gladly stop for photos of places we wanted. I had him stop at the dead cassowary sign, and then a house on stilts.

That was very nice of him! I’m still upset about missing the 45ºS sign last year in New Zealand. I also snapped a photo of a sugar cane field, which there’s heaps of in tropical north Queensland! Sitting next to me was a young man from Sydney named Denny, and he has autism! I must say that getting to meet another autistic person on my travels is very relieving and really nice, because many people with autism don’t travel, and many more people with or without autism wonder how I do it! He told me he’d been all over Australia and has ridden on the Indian Pacific through the Nullarbor Plain. I hope to ride that to Perth someday. Well, tomorrow I’m taking the Sunlander, which is another of Australia’s great train journeys. We drove again along the scenic Captain Cook Highway, this time with the ocean on the left and the rainforest on the right. We made it back to Cairns at 7:30 and I had the driver drop me off at the Esplanade. I strolled around with my pack on and walked around the lagoon. I got McDonald’s for dinner and I talked to this family who had moved here from England. Afterward I checked out the didgeridoos and got a few postcards and some stamps. I got Bob a postcard of a topless girl, but I found out that he can’t get that one while in jail so I have to get him a different one. I then walked over to the internet café and emailed everyone recapping my last few days. It’s been so special here! I also got an email from Tom in Ireland. I hadn’t heard from him since I left New Zealand. I also got a comment from Karla. I really needed to relax, so I spent about 1½ hours on the computer. After leaving, I stopped for a couple of Red Bulls and a water bottle, and then I gave Mom a call. I told her about how wonderful it is here. I talked to her for like an hour and then started walking toward the Cairns Beach House, the backpacker hostel I’m staying at tonight. I checked in and then got a towel. I put my stuff down in my room and jumped in the shower straight away. Man, did it feel good! There was no soap, but this young man from Sweden gave me some shampoo, so I washed up with that. I then collected my laundry and threw it in the washer. I may have wrecked my swimming shorts yesterday when I wiped the oil on them from the bike. There is a girl staying in the same room as me, from France. Her name is Funny. She is so beautiful, and I wish I had more time to get to know her better. I wish I had a girlfriend right now. Who knows, maybe I’ll meet a sexy Australian on this trip, and I can stay here forever! I don’t expect to though. I sat and talked with this girl named Rachel and her boyfriend, and they were from England. They are doing a round-the-world trip and they’ve already been to South America and New Zealand. After awhile, I went back to my room. I’ve been up like 20 hours today and I have a long train journey ahead tomorrow. I’m exhausted and I have to go to sleep. Have a good night and I’ll see you tomorrow.

 

Tags: adventures

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