If you really want the Great Barrier Reef to live up to the hype, you have to take a liveaboard to the Coral Sea or to some other remote corner of the reef. I didn't have the time (or money) for this, so I went on a day trip out of Cairns. The first obstacle is the boat ride out there. It took 2 hours and was pretty rough. The smell of 20 buckets of vomit is a great thing to face first thing in the morning. Once we arrived, the divemaster informed us with a cheerful smile that most of the coral in the area was dead. He said that we were very lucky to be diving here because marine biologists came from around the world to study the dead reefs. And we all felt very fortunate. Sure enough, the dive was on a grey mound of dead coral rubble. I managed to find a few patches of surviving corals and a few fish to take pictures of before returning to the boat and the salesman enthusiasm of the divemasters. "Was that incredible or what mate!" "Be sure to tell your friends and dive with us next time!"