On our first day in Airlie we had the awesome opportunity to travel out to the Great Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays. We boarded the “Seaflight” and headed out to the outer reef area where the Knuckle Reef pontoon awaited us. The pontoon had an awesome underwater observatory, a spacious deck for lounging, a scuba diving area, and… A WATER SLIDE!!
Once we got situated on the pontoon, Laura headed out for her very first dive on the Great Barrier Reef and Claire went in for a snorkel. We couldn’t believe how clear and beautiful the water was and how many colorful fish we saw. We ended up becoming bff’s with a super cool fish named Wanda, a Humphead Maori Wrasse that was probably around 200 pounds.
We didn’t want to get out of the water once lunch time rolled around, but we were persuaded by the delicious looking plates of food that other passengers were carrying to the tables on the deck. We are both pretty picky eaters but we have to say that we really enjoyed the meal they prepared for us. It was fresh and there were lots of good options for vegetarians, meat lovers, and all of the above. We took our food up to the deck and munched away in the sunshine while enjoying the reef view without a cloud in sight.
After a few more hours of snorkeling and going crazy on the water slide we had to part with Knuckle Reef and begin the trip back to Airlie Beach. The crew was amazing and kept everyone entertained and having a great time on the long trip back. They played “Finding Nemo,” a slideshow of photos taken of the group that day, and thought up creative games and contests for us to partake in.
Not to brag, but we dominated the hula-hoop contest (tied for first) and won two free ice cream bars of our choice. Don’t mess with us when a hula-hoop is around. To be honest, there’s not much that can stand in the way of us and free ice cream… so everyone else was pretty much doomed from the start.
Just as we were nearing the marina, the sun was setting and we watched one of the prettiest sunsets over the ocean! It couldn’t have been any better of a day.
Overall it was a pretty successful day. Laura completed her lifelong dream of diving the Great Barrier Reef, Claire met a lifelong friend under the sea, and we both won free ice cream. What more could we ask for?
Be sure to watch the video footage of the experience: