The Great Barrier Reef is one of the more popular world heritage sites in the world, it has been on the list since 1981 and is visited by approximately 2 million people each year. The reef is next to a world heritage site also the largest living thing on the planet, it is a 2300 kilometers long living ecosystem that is home to 500 types of coral and 1500 types of fish. All of this together makes an unforgettable, unbelievable and amazing sight.
When I was given the opportunity to snorkel at this reef you probably can’t imagine my happiness (there was a happy dance and all). While I was working in Port Douglas, Queensland in Australia my manager was contacted by Quicksilver. I worked at a hostel at the time and mainly stood at reception, selling dorm beds and trips and tours in the area. My manager thought it would be great for me to go on this trip, this way I could tell other guests about my hopefully positive experience, and push them into the direction of Quicksilver. Honestly, this company is one of the best known ones in the area and probably doesn’t even need this, it was still a really nice gesture. As I just said, Quicksilver is said to be the best and biggest company that tours the reef.
In this post you can read about all my adventures on the Poseidon, the smallest vessel of the Quicksilver crew on a sunny but very windy day in May.
Around 8 in the morning I walked over to the Port Douglas Marina to check in for my day long snorkeling trip. Wasn’t too hard to find since it was only a 2 min walk from where I was staying. The check in desk was also easy to find with an army of people trying to help everyone going on a day trip. After I checked in I received a boarding pass – starting to look a bit like the routine before flying here.. – and I made my way to the Poseidon. On board the whole crew welcomed every single passenger and were asked to fill out a safety form. Some more extensive than other since 20% of the people on board would be diving for part of the day. After handing in my safety form, I received some seasickness pills, which are great since I often get seasick on smaller boats.
It only took 20 minutes for everyone to get on board and soon after we were off. The divers were all called downstairs for their introductory briefing / extra safety briefing. All snorkelers got to go to the upstairs deck, here we received some more information on snorkeling and got handed out our gear for the day. After this we just enjoyed our boat ride, we were headed to the outer reef, it is said to have the best dive and snorkel area’s on the Great Barrier Reef.
You might have read it between the lines somewhere already, but I was going on this trip solo. The first thing I noticed was that everyone was in couples, and then I don’t mean as in a couple of friends, but literally they were all partners, lovers, whatever you want to call them. I got a bit nervous about being the loner on this trip, but after only being on our way for 10 minutes the couple that said next to me started asking questions. They were kind of nervous because this was their first snorkeling trip from a boat, and not from a beach. The weather was also very rough, it was sunny but windy. Having been on some snorkel adventures, I told them that everything would be fine, and that the crew always watches everyone carefully. In the end I had an amazing day and made loads of new friends, and even exchanged some email addresses to exchange photos when we got back to shore! Always good to get something other than selfies.
The snorkeling itself was great, we went to 3 different locations, of which one was almost all the way at the barrier of the outer reef. Very spectacular to see that the colour of the water changes from bright blue where the reef was, to almost black at the end of the reef. The crew on the Poseidon was amazing, they are very attentive and always ready to help. They even dragged some people through the water because they couldn’t swim against the currents. Another great activity that I haven’t seen done anywhere else is that we were taken on several exploration snorkels. Wit one or two people from the crew leading us around the water and showing us several sharks, fish and even a turtle!
If you are looking for a quality Great Barrier Reef snorkel or dive experience I would 100 percent recommend going with Quicksilver, especially the Poseidon boat. It is a lot smaller than their other vessels, and it gives a really personal feel to the whole day. Overall, I would recommend NOT SKIPPING this trip if you are up in Queensland. Many of my backpacker friends told me that they’d rather spend money on other stuff than taking a boat out to this world wonder. Is a pack of goon really more important than seeing one of the greatest sights in the world? Still can’t get my head around this! However, all I have to say is GO GO GO!
Anyone else loving the Great Barrier Reef? I certainly can’t wait for my next visit!