It’s 7:30 am on July 1st and Andrew and I are about to embark on a Cruise Whitsunday boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef to celebrate Canada Day – Australia style. Ourselves along with 5 other Canadians, and one brave Australian, have planned an epic day to celebrate Canada and it’s 143 years of independence. With a large Canadian flag hoisted about our heads we board the boat and head out on 2 hour boat ride to the Knuckle Reef Pontoon. The excitement begins before we even arrive at the pontoon with a whale sighting about 200 meters off the starboard side of the boat. We get a few good breaches of the whale, but I’m not quick enough on the camera to get a decent shot.
We finally arrive at the pontoon, and jump directly into the water for our first certified scuba dive. Within about 10 minutes we are suited up and under the water. The sights are breath taking. Everywhere you look there is another intricate coral formation with hundreds of fish feeding off the algae. We spend almost an hour under the water and along the way swim with a sea turtle, spot a reef shark, and see a giant moral eel hiding under the coral. Back on the boat again it’s time for lunch and a suntan before heading back out for a snorkel and some photo opportunities under the water. You could spend all day out here floating around just staring at the diversity of the sea life below. Before we know it, our 4 hours at the pontoon is up and we’re getting back on the boat for our journey home. But not before we get some great “family” shots of our group.
Back on Hayman again, we shower, and take a quick nap before heading out to the bar to continue the celebrations. Andrew and I are both sporting our matching Canadian Olympic gear (thanks Gloria!) and the flag is out as well. All of the Australians are totally into Canada Day right along with us and it makes for a great night at the bar. Even though I’m 15,000 kilometres away from home, Canada Day could not have been any better.