Boom Netting

A few years ago, my wife Carol and I spent five weeks travelling up the East Coast as far as the Whitsunday Islands. Whilst in this area, itís worth taking a twin hulled catamaran out to one of the islands on the Great Barrier Reef for a spot of snorkeling. We took advantage of this opportunity and did just that! After leaving Shute Harbour at Airlie Beach, the fast catamaran we were on made a stop on Daydream Island to pick up a few more passengers before heading out passed several more islands in the Whitsunday Group. After this we were out in the Coral Sea .You may be under the impression that the Great Barrier Reef is just a short trip from the mainland. In fact it took us the better part of two hours to get to the reef. On arrival, the multitude of tropical reef fish, plus soft and hard corals was a fantastic sight. Here Carol and I swam above a huge Moray eel amongst the corals, and were lucky enough to spot a large turtle in the pristine clear water. This, plus the delicious cold buffet, which followed, all added up to make a memorable trip to the Great Barrier Reef. (It is worth noting that the Great Barrier Reef is over twelve hundred miles in length, and is the only living thing on earth, which is visible from outer space.)

On the way back down the coast, we had a few days in Yeppoon. Whilst staying there, we embarked from Rosslyn harbour on another twin hulled craft named the Reef Seeker, taking a trip to Great Keppel Island.

Reef Seeker

Carol chatting to other visitors after disembarking on the island

The Reef Seeker which is the larger vessel. Note the gangplank straight onto the coral sand. We had such a pleasant day on Great Keppel swimming and snorkeling etc. that we have since returned on a couple of other occasions. The last time, whilst we were on board sitting up in the bow, and about to return to the mainland, we heard a shout from a couple in a small dinghy just a few yards from our bow. They were pointing to a spot just a few yards from them where a very large Manta Ray had surfaced! We could see it clearly, as its wing tips were easily visible above the clear blue water, a memorable sight and a fitting end to the dayís trip.

Another trip from Rosslyn harbour, which we found to be good value, was on a large launch, which took us out to an underwater observatory. Here we descended down an iron staircase to the seabed and were able to watch the fish in their natural environment through the observation ports .A highlight of this trip was a chance to try Boom Netting .

Arthur on the Boom Net !

Boom Netting

As you can see on the attached photo. The boom supports a strong net, and passengers are invited to climb out onto this net in their swimsuits to be towed alongside the vessel at a fair rate of knots! Carol and I were the only seniors to have a go. A girl in a Bikini lost her top in a matter of seconds! This should have told me something. They then asked if anyone dared go on the outside rope. You guessed it. Like an idiot over I went! Hanging onto the rope for dear life and fully aware that if I lost my grip I would be in the sea and would have to paddle about until this large vessel could return to pick me up! Every time I surfaced the young guy sitting on the net asked me if I was ready to get back on the net. After a couple of minutes I was definitely ready to do just that, and so with well over a hundred people with videoís and cameras snapping and flashing, the guy told me to roll onto the net. I did so, and immediately felt my boxer shorts heading down to my ankles!

I quickly opened my legs to stop them from disappearing into the Coral Sea forever. I will leave the rest to your imagination .My bottom and the family jewels were filmed and photographed from every angle and on eventually leaving the vessel. I received a cheer and a wave from all my fellow passengers, for like it or not . All had been revealed!

A.E.Bensley

 

 

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