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Snorkeling in Whitsundays

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We are planning on signing up for a group/chartered 2 night/2 day sailing excursion to the Whitsundays in late March 2017 (four, fit 60ish folks). We will have a chance to do some snorkeling on the sailing trip.. I understand these islands have "fringe" reef but are part of the GBR. My 21 yr old son still insists that we need to go to Cairns to snorkel the GBR because he had a better snorkeling experience there than the Whitsundays in February. We are not interested in going to Cairns for any other sites at this time. Should we go to Cairns . . . I am thinking not.

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