Ran through the mall to get cheap tennies for me (can't hike in flip-flops!) and sunnies for her, then speedwalked the streets to the harbor & made it just in time to catch the boat. Whirlwind morning.
In leiu of breakfast, the ship had free coffee & cookies... I ate eight (they were one inch diameter & I am terrible without food, don't judge!), then went out on deck to watch Green Island approach.
The ocean is bordered by misty mountians and is so many blues - "shades that aren't in the crayon box" as T said. Green Island is tiny & completely covered by rainforest. And there's almost no one there!
We disembarked, shopped the dive shop (T is a bad influence! But I didn't buy anthing), claimed our included snorkel gear & rented stinger suits, then headed into that clear water.
By the way, there is nothing less flattering than a stinger suit. Head to toe & mittened fingers of bright blue lycra, hugging every curve & bulge. With our masks on, we looked like hilarious smurf aliens. But so did everyone else. :)
Submurge. The world dissapears. Slowly, the movement of aquatic life comes into focus, colors seem muted but then sharpen, & all you can hear is your own breathing: in, out, in, out.
A flat fish, expert in camoflauge, distinguishes itself from the sand with the wave of a fin. Bright red & purple crabs regard passersby coolly from tunneled holes. A school of big silver fish scurry past & a school of little rainbow fish play recess games in bits of coral. Jellyfish billow by & you're glad you opted for the stinger suit. Green grasses and brown seaweed wave with the current as tiny fish dart through their tendrils. Small plants that look like monochromatic flowers or looped ribbon open & close. A giant silver fish dips its mouth to the sand to eat & turns an unblinking eye your way. Striped fish and green fish and fish with yellow spots; its like a Dr. Suess creation. Two multicolored fish strut & shine for you, swimming right up to your goggles, spitting rocks & darting all around you like an interactive circus - until one nips your ankle & you realize they weren't being friendly...
I took lots of pictures & video (my new underwater camera is awesome!!) and we snorkled for about 2.5 hours. Warmed up on the beach & then explored the rainforest. Its a small island & the walking trail isn't very long, but it takes you to some secluded beaches that I almost wish we'd seen before we returned our scuba gear.
We sat & enjoyed the view for a while. Watched a lazy turtle gliding in the shallows. It was quiet but for bird calls, insects buzzing and waves. Paradise.
Just before we had to go back, we tried to get lunch but the restaurant was closed. We settled for a piece of banana bread & a daquiri, saw 3 more turtles as we boarded the boat, then watched the island retreat into the horizon as if the whole day had been a dream.
Walked back to the hostel, picked up sushi, had a whole travel debacle (don't need details but I just want to put it out there: someday, I'd like someone to just take care of booking all my travel for me. And pay for it), got the next weeks plans sorted, showered, ate our sushi on the floor, packed for tomorrow, listened to music from the party hostel next door (and some inappropriate sounds from the room next door), ate mangoes T found fallen from a tree - delish! - and fell into bed exhausted from a full day.
Today I'm so happy & grateful for:
~ my first view of the Great Barrier Reef!
~ having a travel buddy
~ beautiful places