Wangi Falls, The Great Barrier Reef, and Skydiving in Airlie Beach

Day 44 – Thursday, November 24th…Darwin, Australia

There was an announcement about a flu that is spreading around the ship.  I’m surprised it’s taken this long for some type of virus to be on the ship – especially considering we’ve been onboard for around 1.5 months.

The ship took quick action to ensure the virus would not spread.  They removed butter, salt, pepper etc from the tables and brought up sanitizing machines.

Thankfully, we’re almost in Sydney where we’re disembarking to do some vacationing in Coogee beach.

It was another sunny and hot day in paradise.  We rode on a coach bus for about 2 hours to get to the Wangi falls.  The falls were beautiful.  You could wander the area and enjoy all of its beauty.

After leaving the Wangi falls we went to see the Florence falls.  Another stunning sight.  While wandering around the falls we stumbled across a swimming area.  People played music and swam in the water.  I wish we had longer here to be able to go for a swim.  However, it was time to get going to check out the termite mounds at Litchfield National park.

The termite mounds were very interesting to see.  They were huge and covered an entire field.  Due to their vast size, it’s hard to imagine termites creating them.

Day 48 – November 28th…Cairns, Australia

We’ve arrived in gorgeous Cairns!  Stunning turquoise waters surrounded us and it was another sunny warm day.  The weather truly couldn’t be any better.  We took a boat ride for 90 minutes to arrive at our floating dock.  It was surprising to see this pontoon in the middle of nowhere.  It had change rooms, a food area and an underwater observatory.

Again, me being terrified of unknown critters in the water, I was very apprehensive about going in. Shawn quickly jumped in and said the water was very warm.  We opted out of getting wetsuits.  It was beginning to be jellyfish season, however our guide said we’d be okay without the wetsuits.

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After about 10 minutes of dipping my toes in the water, I finally flopped in.  It wasn’t graceful but I was in.  The coral reef was stunning.  An abundance of colours filled the ocean floor.  We weaved carefully through the different areas being cautious not to disturb anything.

After swimming for over an hour, I was finally getting comfortable.  Shortly after I noticed a reef shark swimming below us.  Naturally, I did exactly what you’re never suppose to do – flailed and screamed SHARK!  As I quickly kicked Shawn and left him behind, I noticed a swarm of people trying to get closer to observe the shark.  Was I the only sane person on this trip?  What felt like a 15 foot shark turned out to be about 4 feet…Still, I had experienced the Great Barrier Reef and I had no interest in going back in.

Despite my irrational phobias, seeing the Great Barrier Reef was amazing!

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Day 49 -November 29th …Airlie Beach, Australia

We arrived at the marina around 1:30PM, which was cutting it dangerously close to our 2PM skydiving time.  We decided since our cruise was coming to an end, we’d do something out of our comfort zone.

It was extremely windy so the instructors asked us to wait around to see if the weather would get any better.  We sat around watching old videos of prior jumps until they called us over.  One of the instructors did not want to go up in this weather, however, there were still two instructors left.  They agreed to take us up.  We got suited up in red pants, a harness and our goggles.

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We watched a safety video then completed some practice training on the ground.  We hopped into the tiny two seater plane and sat on the ground in between the instructors.  As we took off the instructors attached themselves to us in preparation for the jump.  During the takeoff, we swayed back and forth in the wind..  The suspense was mounting with each sway.  I started questioning our decision to do this.  We got to our desired altitude and the guide and I shimmied to the door and pulled it open.  Staring down, I saw nothing but clouds.  We closed the door and decided to fly one more loop before jumping.  We completed the loop, the dreaded door opened again and it was time.  I went first and Shawn followed shortly after.  Thankfully, this was our order…if I had to watch Shawn jump first, I don’t think I would have gone!

It was the most incredible feeling, tumbling effortlessly through the clouds.  The fall happened so quickly so it didn’t leave us time to panic.

We’re excited to experience more of Australia!

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