Tag Archives: Great Barrier Reef

I know I’ve accosted you all with photo after photo of Hayman Island and the Great Barrier Reef. I hope you’ll forgive me if I post a few more, before moving on to Sydney.

Because, damn it, the islands were just lovely and maybe, just maybe, I want to squeeze my eyes shut and pretend that we’re still there. Except that this time it’s a little more affordable, and (as long as we’re dreaming) I look fabulous in a bikini, and there’s tons of free cake and baby sea turtles for everyone! (For clarification, I do not wish to eat the sea turtles. I only wish that they were frolicking around so that we could enjoy gazing at them while eating free cake.)

  1. Rand walking on the beach at Hayman Island before a storm.-
  2. View from our seaplane during our tour of the reef.

    I realize all of these airplane photos are kind of an ad for Air Whitsunday, but you know what? They totally deserve it.

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Some days we pushed ourselves.

We’d kayak in the morning, and snorkel in the afternoon. We’d hike to the edges of the island, as far as we could safely go, and sometimes even a little farther than that.

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I am pleased to say there was one thing on Hayman Island that was affordable (well, relatively, anyway).

Rather shockingly, it was the snorkeling.

Food was heart-stoppingly expensive, and our room was pricey, but the actual cost of a snorkeling trip? Downright reasonable. For $40 each, we’d get a round trip boat ride to a nearby island, and rental of a mask, dry suit, flippers, and a few beach chairs and parasols.

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Today’s post is the exciting conclusion of our snorkeling adventures on the Outer Reef. Don’t forget to read Part 1.

I should have warned you there’d be photos of us in bathing suits, huh?

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Our seaplane had just landed in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Remembering how often lofty expectations led to disappointment, I did my best to calm my brain, which was racing with thoughts of everything we were going to see.

“THERE WILL THOUSANDS OF FISH,” it screamed. “AND SEA TURTLES! AND ALSO KITTENS.”

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The view from our seaplane as we flew over the Great Barrier Reef.

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The other day, I botched a batch of homemade cookies that I had been making for get-together with friends (or maybe my intent was just to sit in front of the TV and eat all of them by myself. Whatever.)

This shook me to my core. A large portion of my life is devoted to the creation and consumption of baked goods. It is, as a friend of mine noted, “one of my core competencies.”

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Clouds begin to roll in over the resort at Hayman.

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On our last night on Hayman Island, it rained.

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Years ago, when Rand and I were much younger and less squishy than we are now, we would go hiking. A lot.

Nearly every weekend in the spring and summer, we’d jump into my KIA Spectra (and before that, my Dodge Neon, because I am very discerning about the vehicles I choose. I demand that they be crappy and underpowered, damn it), and drive out of Seattle towards the mountains and hills that lie just north and east of our little city.

We were flat broke, and so hiking was a perfect activity. We’d pack snacks, and the day would usually only cost us what we spent on gas and admission to whatever park we were visiting.

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The view from our breakfast table at Azure.

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Food on Hayman Island was absurdly expensive. I plan on writing an entire post about it, but it actually causes me physical pain to think about the prices of our meals there, so I’m procrastinating on that.

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