Today, we had the wonderful opportunity to board the Passion III https://passions.com.au/ and took a trip to snorkel and scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Spending the day out on the ocean, we swam in two different reef locations and saw a wide variety of sea life. The boat we rode on held about 150 people, with 25 being our group of students and instructors. We spent the day exploring the reef and what’s beneath the water’s surface. The group had the option to snorkel, or take a quick non-certification training to scuba dive and get a closer look at the reef. It was a great opportunity to get to know everyone on the trip and have time to relax on the boat after weeks of busy days and traveling!
Passions of Paradise is an eco-certified company, and is one of the few local Great Barrier Reef owner-operated reef trips. To learn more about what eco-certification means, visit https://passions.com.au/eco-tourism/. The company is permitted for 2 unique reef locations to protect and minimize human impacts. In addition to this, the company donates a percentage of their profit to the reef and its conservation efforts. On the tour, we learned about the many species that inhabit the reef. Before the trip, the group learned about reef issues from Dr. Julie Carmody including bleaching, climate change, and tourism, and the risks these pose to the reef’s health and its future. Russell, the boat’s master reef guide, emphasized one important message throughout his informational talk. It is not the death of the reef that is of the biggest concern, but the loss of biodiversity—maintaining and regenerating the biodiversity of the reef is paramount.
Thanks again to everyone from Passions of Paradise for having us, and a special thank you to their wonderful photographer for catching these great moments!