Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Old Mar 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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My husband and I were teachers and lived in Australia for a while. I, too, am uncomfortable in water eventhough I water-ski, swim well (not like your wife), scuba dive, etc. I do understand her fear though. In 1973 my husband's Mom & Dad came to visit & we flew up to Cairns & went to Green Island. "Mom was about 63 at the time and was not a swimmer - didn't even have a suit. When she saw us in the water (just inches off shore) at Green Island she put on her capris, a t-shirt and we pulled her on an air mattress all around - she saw heaps of marine life and wouldn't have missed it for anything. She is 97 now and still has a great memory. Consider this also: there are great inflatable snorkel vests (I have one) which are very safe. Just have her buy one (or rent or borrow) and then put her on an air mattress or board and stay in the shallow areas or marked areas and she should be fine - BUT SHE HAS TO TRY IT....
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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I think it's great that you're getting so much encouragement to try snorkeling... I just want to give another perspective. I am a strong swimmer, very much used to water sports, kayaking, waterskiing ... deep water and Pacific Ocean. However, going snorkeling 30 miles out completely wigged me out and I only completed maybe 30 minutes of a half day trip.

I was happy to sit in the boat and enjoy the view, I had a wonderful time and don't regret going one bit. I was just on the verge of a panic attack the entire time I was in the water and was fine once I got out. The staff (quicksilver) was very helpful and even offered to get in the water with me and I politely declined more than once.

All that to say, try it, but if you can't stay in, do what you must and still enjoy yourself! I was amazed by the reef ifself.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Ceidleh, would you please post the name and email address of the Chinese junk tour. It sounds just like what we want to do. Thanks.
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Brit: It's for the Chinese Junk.

Please note if anyone in your party has severe mobility issues, this may not be the best option for them. They anchor the Junk offshore and you have a very short climb down into the tender that brings you onto the island. We had a couple ladies on my boat in their early to mid-60s and they made it fine, but they didn't have any physical limitations.

It is a great sail out to the island and back with lunch and afternoon tea included in the price.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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Dear All
We have just come back from Oz and the GBR. It was wonderful and I would really like to thank you for all your advice. We eventually went with a smaller boat to Michelmas and Hastings Reef out of Cairns. My wife, dressed in a stinger suit, lifejacket, noodle and life ring had a great time. She did not have to 'swim' but was dragged along by the friendly crew. We also did a glass bottom boat trip and the whole day $155 was very much worth it.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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Good on your wife SBeard. The boat you went on sounds like Sea Star out of Cairns to Michaelmas Cay and Hastings Reef - for others the website is Takes a maximum of 40 passengers and often well below that.

Thanks for posting.
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