The day we had long awaited was finally here…
My best friend Mel, her daughter Tea, Amber and I were off to Heron Island. It had long been on my bucket list. Now, a week later, we are still telling stories of our adventures… so let me share a few!
Let’s start with the journey.
Gladstone is the jumping off point for Heron Island which is a long two hour journey due east on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. This length of time on a boat could be daunting, but we were lucky and hit a completely glassy day. Even Tea (who’s a bit unsure of the rocking) braved the bow and squealed in delight as we rose and fell over the miniscule swell. Regardless, I still recommend giving the kids a Kwell well before the journey because they don’t work once you start feeling ill.
As we approached this tiny atoll, we were joined by dolphins, spotted 13 turtles and numerous rays. The ocean was so clear we could see coral on the bottom as we slowed through the man-made channel through the reef.
First impressions of this island were extraordinary. Turquoise ocean fused into white coral sand; the incessant sound of Noddy Terns nesting on every limb of every tree; the tremendously bad smell of their poo as you walked up to the resort; jumping up from lunch to watch sharks and rays cruise the reef. It was serious sensory overload!
After unpacking we donned our snorkel gear and headed for the reef. Amber and Tea were, understandably, reticent after seeing sharks moments before, but they gave it a go. When they couldn’t handle their fear any more, Mel and I continued on our own and weren’t disappointed… Mel spotted her first shark and didn’t completely freak! I, on the other hand, am a little mad, and chose to chase it with my video camera… the shark trying really hard to get away…
This was Mel’s birthday and the evening meal was the weekly seafood buffet. I think she downed a dozen oysters before I even finished my first bug… Top it off with the birthday cake we ordered ahead, and Happy Birthday from the resident singing duo, and she was on cloud nine!
THEN we wandered down the beach to find turtles laying eggs… and wondered if day two could ever get better than this??? Tune in tomorrow to find out!