It was a lovely day out on the reef, out at 08.30 having just had fruit and coffee before hand – well I didn’t want to not be able to eat the focaccia and Danish pastries! Out for 1 ½ hours, then into the water, looking very attractive in an all over lycra body suit! Well I’ve had the sunburnt bottom experience before, and never want to repeat it! It was beautiful, (the reef, not my bottom) but you’ll just have to take my word for it, as I managed to persuade him NOT to buy a disposable or hire a digital camera, you end up missing so much as you are playing with the camera! The colours were amazing both of fish and coral and the variety stunning.
|Port Douglas, looking pretty calm|
|One of our three reef sites on Agincort reef|
The only down – it was cold (the water was 23⁰C, but had the odd cooler current and the wind was 15 to 20 knots, which although relatively warm, was enough to blow away our insulating air layer and make us feel a bit cold. Cloud cover was 20-30% which made it feel cooler on the occasions when the sun went in)! Managed to beg a wetsuit each for the next two sites, but only a shorty and ill fitting, so although B was better I was still cold. We did manage 40 mins at each site though, which was fab. We still think we made the right decision not to dive – why bother when the best colour is in 3metres of water
(and we could see divers about 6m down below us and the temptation was to hold our breath and dive down to join them, which we could easily have done, but decided against it)? Lunch was great, as was afternoon tea and cheese and biscuits! So pampered and fat as well.
Back at 16.30 and headed half an hour west, into the hills away from the hustle and bustle and expense of the Port Douglas/Cairns area (and into the cloudless, still and warm late afternoon). Two nights here, in the middle of nowhere, so we’ve spent today washing, packing and cleaning.
|Just imagine what that would be like beneath the surface|
It’s just about all in, the outside is clean and the inside will only take a moment when we’ve found some people to give the last of our ‘stuff’ away to! Managed to get rid of the empty pepper mill this morning – van next door had obviously dropped theirs, along with a couple of books, but they didn’t ‘deserve’ all our stuff and we are not quite ready to get rid of it all, plus they probably couldn’t fit it in! 5 of them in a kuga – the van we were ‘upgraded’ to all those weeks ago! They turned up at 2100 last night and were noisy, plus we think they must be illegal as they only have 3 seatbelts! So not ‘deserving’!
|The third reef on Agincort reef, 30km out from Port Douglas on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Imagine how Captain Cook must have felt being confronted with that so far from shore1|
|Cairns seafront. To the left is a man made lagoon complete with sandy beach, to the right is the muddy, quicksand beach.|
|Actually Cairns was better than we thought, a very tidy city that had a 'friendly' feel to it, not like we imagined and not as some people had described it|
|This is really for Pauline: Remember the 'Steve's Deadly Toughie Pants Sauce' you bought us in May? This is all that's left of it - not bad hey (and damn good it was too!)?|
It’s odd, a huge chapter of our life is about to change, we’ve driven around like a snail with our house on our back for nine months now, so to go to hotels and restaurants and not to be able to cook and stop for tea and cake when we want is all very strange! Of course the language barrier of Thailand and Malaysia is all adding to the uncertainty, but I’m sure it will be fine, anyway we’ve got a week in Melbourne first, and that’s going to be a huge shock to the system in itself – cold!
|Jackie writing our last blog entry outside our van in the heat of Cairns afternoon sun (around 28 to 30 C). Tomorrow its down to Melbourne and 10 to 15 C!|