The Great Barrier Reef

The Black Watch moored at Hamilton Island and we switched to a catamaran that took us out to Hardy Reef. Once there, we docked at a fixed pontoon, which had underwater viewing windows, semi-submersible boat, scuba tours for certified divers, scuba lessons for beginners, self-directed snorkeling near the boat, and guided snorkeling trips a little further away. Plus lunch.

Ron and Maggie/Mathew

The fish was named Maggie but because she has gained the rank of dominant fish on  Hardy Reef, she is morphing into Mathew, as indicated by the protruding brow. Part of her/his responsibility apparently is to greet the tour boats. I’m still working on what kind of fish she/he is. What does it say about gender roles when the female can become the dominant individual but the dominant individual can’t remain female.

My time spent practicing to prepare for this trip was a good investment; Hardy Reef is infinitely more interesting than the bottom of the F&P pool. The day was overcast (that’s an euphemism for ‘pouring rain’), so the visibility and colors weren’t what they could have been. Still I spent the better part of an hour floating over and swimming around a small piece of the Great Barrier Reef. It was well worth it to travel half way around the world to experience the many types of coral and varieties of fish.

Hardy is considered a “mature” reef, which means it has gotten as high as it can (until the sea levels rise some more). The result is a wide, flat top with steep sides that are growing outward. We were fortunate to be on the reef at high tide. That made it possible to swim over all parts of the reef; at other times, it is too shallow or at low tide, exposed.

The water temperature was warmer than the air, which was close to 30ºC.

In lieu of more photos of our excursion here, try this link: with access code 51413. (We were there on March 4 on the Black Watch. Most of the photos are of people you don’t know. The black suits everyone is wearing are not wet suits but ‘stinger’ suits for protection from jelly fish; the suits were mandatory; the jelly fish weren’t present.)

For photos of other people’s holiday, try:

Or just google: fish of hardy reef.

4 thoughts on “The Great Barrier Reef

  1. The answer is Maori wrasse, aka Humphead wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, Napoleon fish. The males can get to be two meters long but Maggie isn’t that big yet.


  2. I think the fish may be a grouper. Those have all kinds of different colors and markings, so it is hard to tell. The groupers we saw while scuba diving of Cozumel were about 3 to 4 feet long. Smaller fish swim around them for protection.
    Good for you, getting down into the Reef. Such beautiful corals and fish! Wish I could be there with you.


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