You have to get up early to get to the reef from Townsville.
It’s a long boat ride, but it’s worth it! The dark patches are the reef.
The environment is very peaceful. I saw 3 big, kind of flat (vertical) fish hanging motionless in the water near the reef. They were so still! And there’s not much sound, just your own breath. Gazing down at the life below from the surface was really peering into another world.
The captain suggested I shoot some pictures through his polarized sun glasses. They allow you to see more deeply into the water.