A visit to The Great Barrier Reef is a life changing experience. We left aboard the Reef Magic Cruise, a local Cairns company for a 90 minutes ride, 60 kms from Cairns Harbour into the deep sea. The entire journey was a totally new experience for someone like me who has lived most part of his life in a land-locked city of Delhi. The sheer amount of water around made me think of the marine world right under but once we got into the water after donning the Lycra bodysuit and life jacket, it was an experience I don’t have words to describe.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system spread over 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kms over an area of approx 344,400 sq km.
It is one of Australia's most remarkable natural gifts with the breathtaking beauty of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays. It can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.
It is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. According to a study published in October 2012 the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985.
The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australianand Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups' cultures and spirituality. After looking closely at the marine life 7 feet below the sea level, I can say that I have never seen so much beauty at one place. If we want to live and protect our earth, we have to preserve this marine world below the sea surface. I think this is a must do before you die or else you can never appreciate the Lord for giving us so much beauty on this planet under the sea.