Down Under

While the police in our (last) home town of Gainesville, Florida were busy electrifying a protester , we were blissfully snorkeling over the Great Barrier Reef. For those of you not up on your Australian geography, the city of Cairns is the international gateway to Queensland, home to many significant natural attractions. Its airport sucks in hordes of tourists from Japan, Europe and the U.S., and packs them into huge hotels and boats.

We rented a small car and fled north, to the chic, relatively quiet little town of Port Douglas. The rainy season is a month or two off and the lethal, stinging jellyfish are still out to sea, waiting for their cue to come toward shore and scare the living daylights out of swimmers. As if the huge, saltwater crocodiles weren’t cranky enough to do the job.

We chose a relatively small, snorkelers-only boat to visit the reef…

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