We have a short (40’) flight today to Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef (80 km of the mainland and north of Fraser Island). It is regarded as one of the best snorkeling and diving destinations on the Great Barrier Reef. The flight is at 10:30am.
We wake up and have a quick breakfast of cereals in the room.
We drive to the airport (30’). Weather is good.
The airport, receiving only a few flights per day, is empty. They start checking-in only 15’ before the flight! We are only allowed to take a 10-kg bag per person (+ a 2-kg bag in the cabin). The plane is a propeller plane; it accommodates 20 people. The flight is very nice; we can see Fraser Island on our right. Jules can sit beside the pilot during the whole flight!
We land on the grass airstrip that is right in the middle of the small island. We are welcomed by a lady who gives us a small introduction tour. The accommodations are quite basic, in kind of containers. We are again in a family room, with a double bed, a single bed and a bunk bed that Isabelle and I take (the double bed being a bit small…). This resort, obviously the only one on this tiny island, is eco-friendly. It produces its own electricity with solar panels. There is no phone network and no internet connection. The absence of phone connection is, for once, a problem since today is the day we have to call St Philippe school to register Jules in the 6th grade for the 2018-2019 school year… We asked Marinette, Benedicte and Cecile to try to call the school at 8:10am (as required) to put Jules on the list. A huge thanks to the 3 of them. Let’s cross fingers… We won’t know the outcome before Thursday (when we’re back on the continent).
Nice lunch on the terrace: sandwiches for Isabelle and Ludivine, (battered) fish and chips for Florence, pizza with chips for Jules and salad for me. The weather is great. The view on the reef is beautiful.
Around 2:30pm we go snorkeling on the other side of the island. This island is called the “home of the manta”. It’s located in the south part of the Great Barrier Reef, a zone apparently much less affected by the corals bleaching than the northern part.
The snorkeling is very nice. Although the visibility is not as great as I expected (and as the colour of the sea from the outside could have suggested) and the corals not as colourful as I thought, the size of the fish is impressive. We see 5 big turtles, one big barracuda, one eagle ray and… one manta ray! What a spectacle. For me, these are the most impressive underwater creatures (with the whale sharks of course). The water is not very warm and the kids are cold after 30’. It’s a good thing that we are swimming against the current so we have to “fin” a lot, which keeps us warm.
After a quick jump in the swimming pool and a good warm shower, we do a session of homeschooling. I start sorting out the pictures from Australia (koalas, kangaroos, turtles…).
We eat early (a bit before 7am). It’s a buffet (for breakfast and for dinner), quite good.
Isabelle and Jules watch ‘Finding Dory’ in the “movie” of the resort while the girls go to sleep and I continue working on the blog. I often write “work” while I basically only write posts or select pictures, which is not really “work but it’s always on my laptop, which has been associated with work for so long…
At 9pm, Isabelle and the kids are in bed. I join them 2 hours later. We have a dive at 7am tomorrow morning!