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Tuesday, June 2

Kimonos Down Under: Day Three


Mother’s Day. My first with the baby on the outside.

We wake up before the sun does in our gorgeous room in wonderful Australia. We rush through the morning ‘getting ready’ routine and we are out the door fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. Anyone who knows me knows that timeliness was never my thing. Usually a kid makes it worse and yet here I am arriving early of late! I rock. And I digress.

The shuttle bus that picks us up can probably fit about twenty and yet there is only one other couple on board as we head to the marina in Cairns. We are escorted out to the large sailing vessel that Ocean Spirit Cruises will be using to get us out to the Great Barrier Reef. That’s right, my first Mother’s Day, and I get to spend it on sailing gorgeous turquoise waters and snorkeling with the local wildlife of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. As the boat heads out for its hour and a half ride to the reef, I ask KH what he is going to do to top this for next year’s Mother’s Day.

“I’m thinking brunch,” he quips.

Exuberantly, I respond, “In Brazil??”

His answering chortle will not stop me from at least trying next year.

As I mentioned, it had rained pretty much every day we were in Cairns. Despite that they thought otherwise, it really didn’t help that every damn local kept telling us how it never rains there. But this day happened to be the most clear so far. When we arrived on the reef, the only sincere shower cloud we saw that day was just starting to threaten us. We quickly took in the fish feeding frenzy the company had started on the side of the boat and then decided to look into the semi-submersible tour of the reef which was being offered. With the sky looking the way it did, this seemed the best option and hold off the snorkeling part until later. KH strapped KP into his Baby Bjron and down they both crawled into the sub, with me right behind. We had heard a few comments when we got onto the regular big boat about the rough seas… bringing a baby… and more blah, blah, blah. I could only imagine the looks we must now be getting. Just to prove the naysayers wrong, my little angel not only slept most of the cruising part of the boat trip… both ways even… but he even fell asleep on the sub. So please reserve your tsk-tsking, Scarlet, for someone who gives a damn.

The semi-submersible gave us some great views of the reef, despite the rain’s attempts at clouding up the reef and dimming the bright coral colors. The cruise line even gave little talks explaining what we were seeing – everything from sea turtles to giant clams weighing over 400 pounds each to the 400 species of different coral covering the ocean floor. This actually did make the snorkeling later way more interesting. I actually knew what I was looking at instead of just admiring all the pretty colors like some simpleton.

Arriving back on the boat, the real one, lunch was being served. While I really was ready for the snorkeling, who can pass up a good buffet lunch? KH filled me a plate. Twice. We downed our food, shoved some solids into the wee ones mouth while simultaneously hiding the bottle part of his meal from him, so we could make ourselves the first ones to catch yet another boat out to the cay. Don’t go swimming for thirty minutes after you have eaten? Bah. I live for the danger… and the cramps!

Again… we had an audience as we climbed onto the smaller vessel with our baby boy.

The cay. It’s essentially an island, but not an island, because it apparently moves. Cool. So the island in ‘Lost’ really does exist!

This smaller boat pulls you right up onto the cay so only your tootsies get wet if you want. I personally don’t see the point of paying the exorbitant price of the cruise if you aren’t even going to snorkel on the reef and instead plan on sitting on the cay and watching the water. I just can’t agree that that would be a true reef experience. One guy from the boat stays on the cay and acts as a lifeguard. Considering it was a really quiet day for the tour, only about 50% of their usual partakers, this guy’s job was kind of cake if you ask me.

Now, we really aren’t nuts. No, we would not be snorkeling WITH the baby. We took turns, KH going first to map out the reef for me. While he went out, one solitary soul had his liquid lunch on the cay, our little travelin’ man, as I sat with him and listened to the birds that swarmed in the off-limits sanctuary area directly behind me. When KH returned, it was my turn at the reef.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it on this blog, but I am DEATHLY afraid of water. Thanks to my dear cousin who, years ago, tried to drown me on a drunken vacation in Cancun. I’m not one to let my fears take over me though. I do everything I can to fight them. Water be damned. I was snorkeling. Okay, so I did put on a life vest to do it. And, yes, I did keep pulling my face out of the water because I was sure I was going to drown myself inside my snorkeling mask. But snorkel I did. According to Kimono Hubby, who kept his ever protective eyes on me, I went the whole way across the darkest parts of the reef. And then I… floundered… he said. All of a sudden there was a lot of kicking and splashing that he couldn’t seem to figure out. That would be exactly the moment that I almost crashed into the reef. You see, I can’t turn my head well to see what is to either side of me without causing the freak out in me to rear its ugly, little head. So I stare downward and peer out of the corners of my eyes. Only this got me a little too close for comfort to the many reef organisms that would surely suck me down into them and eat me alive. In my hasty retreat, I managed to swim myself directly over the most massive giant clam in the area as it opened and closed its gaping mouth, just trying to grab a toe that would allow him to get ahold of the rest of me. More freak out ensued. It was all I could do to get myself back to the shore as quickly as possible without peeing myself. I would hate to mar a natural wonder like that.

And so ended my afternoon of snorkeling. KH, who is much more calm about it than I am, did a second, longer round while Kimono Pip and I played in the water along the shoreline until daddy was ready to head back to the bigger vessel.

As stressed as I was upon return, KH calmed me down with a nice cold beer. On the cruise back, the tour company added a glass of champagne to ease my troubles while the prior lifeguard now became Jimmy Buffet and sang us some songs. The wind was perfect to sail the vessel back in to the marina instead of using the motors. We would have liked to sit on the top deck, but apparently that was pushing our peanut man a little too far. I don’t think he appreciated the wind up his nose much.

It had been a long day already, but it was Mother’s Day, and my dear husband would not let the occasion pass without a proper day long celebration. We got ourselves cleaned up and dressed and chose L’Unico to walk back down to for that proper dinner. Several courses of rich foods and strong drinks later, we finally called it a day and dragged ourselves back to the room and bed.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Damn - Why do I keep getting blamed for that incident? LOL It was the undertow, I'm telling you!! (And the numerous adult beverages that we had consumed prior to entering the water! hee hee)