Tuesday, March 30, 2010

baby, it's hotter under the water

our trip to the great barrier reef got off to what can only be termed an inauspicious start. the day unfolded like this.

7:15 a.m.: mom wakes me up to tell me she feels dizzy, like the bed is spinning. we decide she might be dehydrated. i go to the store to get powerade (for her) and fresh baked bread (for me. but i shared).

7:45 a.m.: the reef tour bus isn't scheduled to pick us up until 8:40 a.m. we decide to take it easy for a little while longer and see if mom feels better.

8:15 a.m.: the owner of the charming condo where we were staying, toni, calls to tell us the reef tour bus has come and gone but not to worry because she'll call the marina and tell them to hold the boat and her goateed husband, bruno, will drive us down.

panic and maybe some cursing (from me) ensue.

8:30 a.m.: the reef tour bus returns. we go racing out the door. except for mom who can only sort of stumble. i ask the bus driver what the beep is going on, since we were told we were going to be picked up at 8:40 a.m. he says he doesn't know, but the boat was scheduled to leave at 8:30 a.m., so someone had something wrong. he doesn't say it out loud, but it's clear he thinks that someone is me.

8:40 a.m.: we arrive at the marina. not only did our boat have to wait for us, but every other boat scheduled to leave after our boat had to wait for us. we were famous by the time we got to the marina, and everyone greeted us with, "oh, you must be the johnsons." awesome.

9:00 a.m. (or thereabouts): safely aboard the boat we launch into the ocean. it was a gray, windy, rainy day and the water was choppy. everyone proceeds to get seasick. including mom. she was white as a ghost. i think it was less the rocking boat that made me feel nauseated, and more the beginning of my introductory scuba lesson, during which i learned such charming facts as that my lung might explode. awesome.

by the time we got out to the reef the sun was shining, the water was calmer, and everyone was feeling a lot better. one of the boat crew very wisely told mom that she was seasick because she was on a boat and if she just got off she would feel better. so she did, and she did. aunt april headed out to snorkel the reef as well.

my scuba career was almost over before it began as i nearly failed my introductory skills test. apparently rushing frantically to the surface because you feel like you are going to suffocate is not looked kindly upon in the deep sea diving community. but, i managed to pull it together and down i went.

as i am sure you could have guessed, all the drama was worth it, and everyone was healthy as a horse and happy as a clam for the rest of the day. we saw clown fish and lion fish and reef sharks and groupers and a million other things i can't even name. the coral was bright and intricate and the most stunning thing and just went on forever. we swam with a sea turtle.

it was bliss.

back on the boat on the way home april started to cry with the sheer joy of it. and i couldn't blame her. i got a little teary-eyed myself. the great barrier reef is great indeed.

1 comment:

Mom said...

So, we all look awesome in our wet suits, green face notwithstanding. What a great day at the Great Barrier Reef.