Massive Free Blessing

Anne Hsia Queensland University of Technology, Australia


September 25, 2017

Blessings are free, but when they cost no money it seems even more undeserved. Today I went to Tangalooma on Moreton Island for free (a friend won a voucher with Backpacks World Travel but couldn’t use it before it expired, so gave the voucher to me). A day-trip with three island activities usually costs $149, plus $36 transportation each way, making the trip worth >$200. I got up at 4.30am to meet the taxi in the city, but I could’ve slept in a bit more after I decided that taking the bus was safer than walking at 5am. The sunrise was beautiful (I’ve seen more sunrises the past two months than I have my entire life)!

The ferry ride to Tangalooma took 1 hr 15 min, and due to the high winds in the bay, the waves were big and the ride was extremely rough. I got a little seasick and wondered how the wind would negatively affect the rest of my experience. But as soon as we got to the island I quickly forgot about the discomfort. Tangalooma looks like a picture: clear blue waters, white soft sand, palm trees, and a shipwreck close by. There are also resorts along the coast with windows facing the bay.

I spent the day doing the Beach Segway Tour, Fish Feeding and Sightseeing Cruise, and Snorkeling at the Tangalooma Wrecks. I always see the Segway Tours in South Bank, and today was my turn to ride one, on the beach! I got a private tour since no one else was signed up during the 9.30am session. The thought of working as a Segway tour guide and living on the island passed through my mind, except that doesn’t really meet a world’s need. During the Fish Feeding Cruise, we saw a dugong! (it’s the stuffed animal I sleep with at home except a dugong has a fluked tail) The skipper says it’s really rare to see one of them so close to the beach, so we were very blessed to spot one on our cruise. The boat also had these glass bottoms where we could see the fish. 

Both of those activities were really cool, but my favourite was snorkeling. We took a boat out to the shipwreck, which was artificially constructed when the Tangalooma harbor closed. A total of 15 ships were purposely sunk between 1963 and 1984, and the metal provide hard surfaces necessary for coral to grow, forming a coral reef. Snorkeling is like being in an aquarium tank; the water is so clear you can see all the fish and coral around you. And even though you have fins, the wave just carries you along and it’s really amazing! There were so many fish that you can just reach out and touch them in between the activities. I also got to hang out on the beach. I still can’t believe that beaches like this exist in the world. But they do, and I’m so blessed that I can spend time at one of them in person ❤. On the way back to Brisbane, we saw a humpback whale breaching! #freewhalewatching #moreblessings. Recently my family asked me “Why are you so blessed???” I replied, “God loves me.” While this experience usually comes with a price tag my day cost more than money. It was showered with God's goodness and grace, which is something money cannot buy. Yes, I am very loved. 

I also got to use band-aids today! First time in Australia haha. When I was on the Segway, I fell off trying to go up a sand dune. But instead of falling backwards like the guide suggested, I fell forward, and the wheels kept turning (you lean forward to make the wheels go forward) and grazed my leg. It looks worse than it actually is and I considered going without disinfectant and band-aids, but after remember the sprinkler incident at UNLV a few years ago, I went downstairs and asked reception for first aid. They didn’t have big band-aids so I have six regular ones on me right now. I won't show a picture because it doesn't match the nice scenery pics in this post.

Anyway, it is way too late for someone who woke up at 4.30am. Goodnight!