The marina at Port Douglas provides a variety of ways to explore the Barrier Reef. A number of companies, including Quicksilver will take you on an excusion to part of the outer reef - the Agincourt Reef for example - on a large catamaran - or you can elect to sail to to Barrier Reef islands such as the Low Isles. In 2005 we visited the outer reef but in 2009 and 2010 we elected to spend the day aboard Sailaway IV to visit the coral cay, Low Isles.
The one hour trip sailing on the yacht with around thirty other passengers is an enjoyable and relaxing experience.
Snorkelling to explore the reef is a major focus of the outing but those of us who do not enjoy snorkelling can still enjoy the day.
On our first visit it was high tide so the Skipper offered to take a group of us in a small boat to explore the nearby mangroves and look for sea turtles.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party were preparing to explore the reef near the cay
however another way to explore the reef is in a glass bottom boat.
There was also opportunity to explore the cay on foot. It dies not take long to walk around the island however there is much to see. It was low tide when we visited in 2010, lots of driftwood and sandbars and rocks exposed.
Sea eagles built a nest in the top of this tree.
Not surprisingly the lighthouse is the central feature of the island.
Back on the boat we had a buffet lunch and then watched as the fish arrived for their share.
After lunch the snorklers explored another section of the reef.
Then back on the catamaran for the return trip to Port Douglas after a relaxing, enjoyable day.