. . . but once we got out on the water, it turned out to be really nice:
After 45 minutes, we reached the reef and docked here:
Here’s a closer look at it:
The people running the cruise had informed everyone that there might be jellyfish in the water, and then, of course, they said we could rent wetsuits which would prevent us from getting stung.
“Will a wetsuit prevent me from getting bitten by a shark?” I asked.
The answer was no, but I got one anyway. It was only $7, and I didn’t want to take a chance.
BRING IT ON, JELLYFISH!!!
Here I am in the water . . .
. . . and look! Here’s a photo of some fish that I took underwater:
The people running the cruise, OF COURSE, had disposable/waterproof cameras for sale, and like a sucker, I bought one.
Actually, I’m glad I did. My pictures weren’t terribly exciting, but it’s nice to have a visual record of what I saw. Here’s what some of the coral looked like . . .
. . . and here’s some more:
This might be weird, but I enjoyed looking at the coral more than the fish. And no, there weren’t any jellyfish. Of course.
Here’s where I ate lunch:
(There was a buffet on the lower deck, and I brought my food up top.)
In the previous photo, did you notice the two women wrapped in pink towels? That’s who I ate lunch with. I had met them earlier in the day, and we ended up talking quite a bit, mostly about baseball after they commented on my umpire cap and asked if I’d attended the Opening Series in Sydney. They were from Los Angeles and had been at the series too. One of them, a *huge* Dodgers fan, is trying to visit as many stadiums as possible, but get this — she only counts a stadium if she sees the Dodgers win there. (Good thing the Dodgers didn’t get swept in Sydney, huh?)
On the way back to Cairns in the late afternoon, I asked my new friends to take a photo of me on the top deck of the boat. Here’s how it turned out:
Did you notice the folks staring at me in the background? Well, apparently I inspired them to strike a similar pose of their own:
The ride back was beautiful. Here’s a look at Green Island way off in the distance . . .
. . . and here are some mountains:
After the boat docked in Cairns, I walked along this street to my hotel . . .
. . . and enjoyed a little computer time on my room’s balcony:
The highlight of my evening was going to a nearby casino:
I’m not a gambler. I’ve only been to a few casinos ever. In fact, I hate casinos, but there was nothing else to do, so here I was:
I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the casino, so here’s a quick recap of what happened: I stood around and watched people lose money at various games for two hours. Then I decided to play black jack, won my first hand, lost the next two, found myself $30 in the hole, and got the hell out.