When I found out I would be moving to Australia, seeing the colourful Great Barrier Reef topped my list of things to see. However, what I didn’t expect to see was so much… well ummm… barf.
We woke up early in Cairns to board a large catamaran that would take us, plus 100 people, on an hour long trip to a pontoon, on Moore Reef. I wasn’t worried about taking a boat into the middle of the ocean because I don’t get sea sick. What I failed to take into account is that just because you don’t get sea sick doesn’t mean everyone around you won’t…
The captain came on the loudspeaker to warn everyone about the rough waves and take us through a set of rules:
- Don’t stand up, unless you want to go over broad.
- Raise your hand to be brought a barf bag.
- Raise your hand for your barf bag to be collected.
- Raise your hand for a new barf bag.
Forget safety, these rules were all about barfing, which I thought was a little overdramatic. I also thought it was weird that there was a staff of about 20 people, getting into position like they were about to run a race, making sure that they had their shoes tied, rubber gloves on, and 50 barf bags in hand. Yes, I thought that this was all very strange until the boat started moving and the the tsunami of barf started.
Almost immediately the waves were so big I thought the huge catamaran was going to be thrown upside down. Even I was starting to feel a little sea sick, which was not helped by a lady near me who literally threw up 20 times in one minute. The staff were running around like turkeys with their heads cut off, trying to distribute the barf bags to all the sick people (everyone), collect the barf bags, dispose of the barf bags and then do it all again, over and over and over, all while trying not to fall overboard. I bet they were wishing to get tossed overboard; this has got to be the worst job ever! At this point we were laughing because the whole scenario was just so ridiculous.
After an hour of pure hell we made it to the pontoon. The entire boat was dead. Seriously, people were lying on the floor, not moving. Luckily, I was still alive and ready to snorkel, although I’d say 80% were not and never got up off the floor.
We spent 4 hours at the reef where we snorkeled, went on a glass bottom boat, visited an underwater observatory, and relaxed on the pontoon. The Great
Barfier Barrier Reef was honestly everything that I had imaged it to be, as we saw sea turtles, a HUGE fish, giant clams and thousands of colourful tropical fish. Unfortunately, the story of how I got there continues to overshadow any story about the actual reef.
Weirdly everyone recovered enough to eat the buffet lunch that included curry, the worst thing to serve to a bunch of people who are about to be sick on the way home! Why couldn’t they have served chicken noodle soup? As you can imagine, the trip home was even more disgusting.