Having snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef at the Whitsundays, but had really bad visibility and seen very little I was ready to get a better experience when doing a day trip from Cairns that would take me to the outer reef for a few dives.
After about a ninety minute boat ride we were at Norman Reef, with the first divesite being Plate Top. Here we got in and swam around for about half an hour without seeing much more than coral and small fish before we finally spotted something worth seeing. It was a sleeping black tip reef shark, with its front facing away from us allowing us to get really close. After that we had another fifteen minutes of swimming around without seeing anything impressing.
Our second divesite, still at Norman Reef was at Turtle Bay where it was almost a repitition of our first dive. We managed to spot a reef shark and a turtle at a distance and then a giant maori fish swimming above us at the surface, but other than that it was probably the most boring diving I have ever done in my life.
The Great Barrier Reef is the Worlds biggest reef which also has the reputation of being one of the Worlds best places to dive. For me it did not live up to its expectarions at all, but then I might also have been very unlucky with the visibility and colors of the reef due to rain and choppy wqves on the surface.