Days 14 & 15, Clifton Beach, Cairns and Green Island, Australia

January 26, 2018


Friday the 26th was a recovery and regroup day, plus it poured all day, with just a few little breaks. On my way to see Jane in reception, I ran into Garon, who informed me the reception closed early for Australia Day, Independence Day. Garon and I started chatting and he asked me how Trump got elected.  We get that question in our travels. From Trump we moved on to immigration in the USA and Australia, minimum wage, etc.  We have been rather mystified by the lack of tipping here.  Our first night in Australia the server at the restaurant told us not to tip, because wages were high enough that it was’t necessary.  That’s a first….please don’t give me money, Pete and I were gobsmacked. Anyway Garon was telling me about a friend of his with a banana farm further north in Queensland. He hires packbackers to harvest his crop, with about 75% coming from India.  They make about $400/week, which would be decent money back home in India. Minimum wage in Australia is $672.70/week, which sure beats the US. 

Besides shooting the breeze with Garon, Pete and I decided we had so much fun snorkeling we needed to do it again. So, we scheduled a transfer to Cairns, boat, snorkel and glass bottom boat adventure off Green Island for the next day. This meant that I had to download the advanced Manuel for my underwater camera and study, study, study. A glass of wine was helpful. 

January 27, 2018

Our transfer was at the civilized hour of 9:50 am and we arrived in Cairns to catch our 11 am Green Island Reef Rocket boat with time to spare, so since we were the only people on the shuttle the driver took us on a little tour of Cairns.  I loved the old pre-air conditioning homes that were built way off the ground to allow all around ventilation.

The trip out to the island was a bit rough and the poor lady in back of us was having to use the sick bags. Although she had my sympathy, I’d really have liked to have been sitting somewhere else on the boat.

The dock at Green Island, our boat on the right

We threw our bags in a coin locker, took our rented Stinger suits and headed for the best snorkeling beach on the island, which is the area to the left of the pier. Unfortunately when we reached the beach, Pete discovered he had left his Stinger suit in the locker, so went without. The good news is there were no Stingers in the vicinity, the bad news is Pete has a terrible sunburn on his back. Those suits are good for more than Stingers.  It was a very lucky day with beautiful sun, it had poured the previous 11 days on Green Island.

Although the water was more turbid than the previous snorkel trip, there were more fish. Underneath the pier was darker, but especially packed with schools of fish.  

White Tipped Reef Shark, about 4′ long
Five Lined Snapper were feeding around a pier support

It might be a Sweetlips on the left, with a Parrot fish on the right.

Lovely Brain Coral, holding still, thank you very much
I believe this animal is some type of Bryozoa
After snorkeling we hit the outdoor shower, changed and had headed off to half an hour on the glass bottom boat.

Pete got this shot of a Green Turtle with reflecting glass bottom

Pete also took the featured photo of another giant clam about 1 1/2′ across.  

After the glass bottom boat it was off to a late lunch of smoked salmon Caesar salad, fries, drinks and some serious people watching.

These photos were taken with the underwater camera, there’s hope!

No sooner had everyone got on the Reef Rocket for the return trip to Cairns, when a wild storm blew through in about 30 minutes.  By the time we got back to Cairns the sun was out again. 
Off tomorrow for a train ride to the Rainforest and Tablelands of Kuranda, then a Skyrail back to Cairns.

2 thoughts on “Days 14 & 15, Clifton Beach, Cairns and Green Island, Australia

  1. Hi, Maxine, It has been such a pleasure to follow along with your very informative travelog and great photos. It’s the perfect antidote to Trump and any other depressing news items! So far, you and Pete seem to be having a great time, though I’m sorry Pete got that sunburn. I bet he won’t forget the wetsuit next time! I was amazed at your comments about no tips in Australia and the “minimum wage.” That minimum wage is just about equivalent to my monthly income!

    About the time you left on this trip, I had finished a book and was looking in my bookcase for something else to read. For no particular reason, I picked out the novel Omoo by Herman Melville. In the story, the narrator and his shipmates have jumped ship and ended up on Tahiti. The chapter I was reading when your first blogs came in was “Island Hopping.” Anyway, the story includes some fascinating descriptions of the land and people of the South Seas during the 1800s; it was fun to compare it to your 21st-century version of things.

    I just spoke to Suzanne on the phone, and she updated me about Marianne’s husband, Art. Apparently, he got some kind of virus that put him in the hospital. It wasn’t the flu, but it left him very weak. He’ll be going to rehab soon, and I hope he’ll have a speedy recovery. Thankfully, Marianne has her son to help with transportation and other needs.

    David didn’t show up on Wednesday due to illness and back problems, but I hope we’ll see him next week. April should be back this week from her trip to Chile, but we don’t know yet if she or Gabby will be teaching on Monday. Judy has left for Texas, and we were all sorry to have to say goodbye to her. I’m not sure if Edgar’s wife will bring him and Buster to class on a regular basis. Jon was back in town for a very brief visit and doctor checkup, and he looked and sounded great. Thanks to Suzanne, Yone also got to come to coffee on Wednesday.

    That’s about all the news I have from the Move It folks. My laptop is more or less functioning again, but my printer isn’t. Guess I’ll have to hire a tech geek to help me with some of the problems and perhaps get me set up with an iPhone.

    I hope your trip continues to be fun and fascinating. Thanks for taking time to share your adventures!

    Carol xoxox

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    1. Thanks for the update Carol! Good to hear that Art is going to be OK, please give my best wishes to Marianne and David. Hope he is feeling better soon.
      So glad you are enjoying the blog. We are having a great time. I think about you and everyone in Move It. Xoxo

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