David's Download: Our Experience on the Great Barrier Reef

Living on a boat for a week and exploring the Great Barrier Reef has definitely been one of the highlights of our year-long trip. The fishing, snorkeling, and island-hopping was unbelievable!! It was an experience that I would do all over again, even if it meant getting seasick and forgetting what it's like to be on land!

Fishing on the Great Barrier Reef was something I was looking forward to the day dad booked the trip (a year in advance). Dad had told me story after story about how great the fishing was and how much I would love it. There were so many different ways of catching beautiful and tasty fish. You could troll for mackerel and tuna, bottom fish for trout and red emperors, or spear fish for anything you saw hidden in the coral.

Trolling from the boat and Zodiac was lots of fun. I will always remember the day when the weather finally subsided and we were able to go to High Rock, which had great snorkeling and fishing. It turned out that the captain was understating what the fishing was really like at High Rock. We must have caught seven huge fish within half an hour! It was crazy! If you didn't hear the sudden "bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" of the reel spinning within five minutes of putting the line out something was wrong. We caught Spanish mackerel, Rainbow Runners, Shark Mackerel, and even Tuna!! It was great! We filled the fridge with enough fish and bait to last a month!

Bottom fishing was also a lot of fun. You basically just had a spool of fishing line with a hunk of squid or fish on the end. You let it sink to the bottom and wait for the fish to hit. I caught a lot of things ranging from big pieces of coral to four-foot white tip sharks!!

The snorkeling was unbelievable. I can't say enough about it. I know that Dad, Katie and I have all written a lot about the reef, but it is truly amazing. One of the things that I found to be really cool besides what you see in the water was how the reef looked from the outside. You are in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight, when suddenly you are surrounded by patches of bright green water. Islands surrounded by reef pop out in the distance from nowhere! Even though you are so far out at sea, the water is very shallow and as warm as a bath! Literally, you don't even have to get used to the water it is so warm. I love it when you just get in the water, put your mask in, and dip your head in. The sensation is incredible as you peer down into this magnificent underwater world!

Of course the only way you can really understand what the reef is all about is by seeing it for yourself. The beauty of this World Wonder can not be described in words.