I spent four hours flying around Hardy Reef in the Whitsundays, choosing this reef because of the dramatic channel that separates the two reefs. The channel is 600 feet (200 meters) wide and 360 feet (120 meters) deep, from the shallow coral to the ocean bed. I spent the better part of a day flying in a plane at around 5000 feet. I was tightly strapped in with the door off, confronting the noise, engine fumes, and freezing cold. It was simultaneously nauseating and exhilarating. ‘Great Reef’ was captured at around 3000 feet.