As classes came to an end, I was able to make a short trip to Australia. My goal for this trip was checking the Great Barrier Reef off of my bucket list. For as long as I can remember, diving the Great Barrier Reef was something that I wanted to accomplish. When I first came to New Zealand, I didn’t have my dive certification. But I got that a few months ago, which put me one step closer to accomplishing this goal. And last week I was able to dive for two days in the Great Barrier. It was worth all the trouble.
The first day I left from Port Douglas and the second day I left from a port in Cairns. On the first day, I did three dives and right from the start I saw a white tipped reef shark. This shark was referred to as “the sharky looking shark.” It was indeed “sharky” looking and although it wasn’t that big, it was kind of intimidating being that close to it in the water. I also was able to see what were referred to as “puppy” sharks. These sharks were very cute. It was the most incredible coral I have ever seen. On the second day, I saw heaps of sea turtles. They were very calm around us divers and were very cute! Both days I was able to see a lot of the “Nemo” fish as well.
It was mind-blowing to be in the Great Barrier in person. Strangely while we were there, I heard conflicting views about whether the Great Barrier Reef was in danger of climate change. The locals of Cairns had the view that climate change was in fact not affecting the Great Barrier. However, I have heard many stories of corals being bleached due to rising temperatures. I hope that the Great Barrier is not in danger. But I have a hard time believing that there has been no impact from climate change. It is important to be environmentally cautious so that wonders like the Great Barrier can be preserved.
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<p>I am a biomedical engineering major and a studio art minor. I play field hockey for the University of Rochester and I love to exercise and be outdoors. If I'm not playing field hockey my exercise of choice is running, Crossfit, waterskiing, wakeboarding, skiing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and anything else that gets me outside.</p>