Like most visitors to Australia, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef was one of my highlights. Passions of Paradise was recommended to us by Kathy, the owner of Tropic days hostel, as one of the better Great Barrier Reef tour operators, and so it proved. They are not, as we say in Ireland, a Johnny-come-lately operation; they have been around since 1989.
It’s a long but very enjoyable day. We checked in at 7.30 a.m and about two hours later we arrived on the Outer Barrier Reef. We were the only boat that moored in this particular spot.
I had never snorkelled before and found it difficult at first. I kept swallowing water which frightened me. However, timid people like myself received one-to-one tuition and we all mastered the right technique (contorting your lips into a ‘fish-face’ – don’t smile is my tip) within about 15 minutes. Even if you are not a strong swimmer or are afraid of water, persevere; it’s worth it.
It was like being in a Jack Cousteau film except everything was hyper-real. Amazing. I lost track of time so I don’t know how long exactly we were in the water but I certainly did not feel rushed.
When we got back on the boat, lunch was ready. It was delicious and plentiful. After lunch we lazed around the boat and sunned ourselves (the sun is particularly strong around here so keep re-applying the sun cream). Later we arrived at about 100 metres from Upulu sand kay. We swam out to the kay so this is the one part where you would need to be fairly confident in the water.
It cost AU$89 plus $6 Great Barrier Reef tax including food, equipment hire etc.