Student Reflections – Jessie Sarff

“Because we Cairns”

Yesterday was the best day of my life (and I’m not even exaggerating). Veronika, Kyle, Kevin and I flew to Cairns (pronounced Cans) in Queensland and took a boat out to the Great Barrier Reef. We spent the entire day snorkeling, scuba diving, and getting nice and crispy in the sun despite several layers of sunscreen.

We booked a tour with “Reef Experience” and were out on the ocean from 8am ’til 5pm, but 9 hours still wasn’t enough time to take everything in. I had never been scuba diving so I was a bit (okay, VERY) nervous about having my first time be at one of the world’s 7 natural wonders, but Kevin and I were lucky enough to be in group 1, so I didn’t have too much time to panic before they threw us into the water.

IT. WAS. AMAZING.

Rule 1 of scuba diving is pretty simple. Breathe. You would think that is common sensical, yet somehow I managed to forget for the first 20 seconds I was in the water. Thankfully, we had some awesome instructors down there with us to remind us (mainly me) of the basics. After my breathing was back to normal, we had 20 minutes to explore, and let me just say, pictures do NOT do the reef justice. We were within inches of the most colorful fish, the cutest sea turtles, and giant clams that snapped shut when you tickled them. We got to hold 3 different kinds of sea cucumbers, some starfish, some coral, and some snails. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and something I will never forget. Now, it’s a 3hr flight back to Sydney for our final night in Australia.

See you in a few days, America … maybe.

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