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Cougars in Australia - Keaton Hayenga

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The Cougars are in Australia for a two-week tour which includes four cities and
five games. Each day a different Coug will blog about his day. Our ninth one
comes from junior Keaton Hayenga, a 6-5 forward from Sammamish, Wash.

Well the last day of the trip was definitely worth the wait. We got to see the Great
Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the world, how cool is that? This
trip has been such a blessing to get to be a part of, everything we did was
awesome but today takes the cake in my book. The day started fairly early, as
far as vacations go, we were up and eating breakfast by 8 a.m. (we played our
final game last night). Right after that we boarded a boat unlike any I have
ever seen, and it was huge. I swear we rode that thing into the middle of the
ocean before we stopped. In reality it was about two hours but it seemed to
take forever and by the time we got to the tiny sand hill of an island I was
ready to get off the boat and into the water. The ride out there was filled
with naps, pictures card games and more naps. Some of the fellas on the team
were definitely out of their element in the middle of the ocean, opting to not
even get into the water once we reached our destination.

The majority of us boarded the first water taxi to the beach to get started on the snorkeling. The crazy thing was that it was pouring down rain when we got to the beach which made it unpleasantly cold and had me questioning whether I really wanted to get into the water, but only for a moment. Actually, being in the water was the warmest part of the whole day. Swimming around in the water was like being in a whole different world. I can't describe how incredible some of the fish and corral were. I didn't know some of those colors existed in nature. The highlight animal that I saw in person was a stingray when I was out with Brock, Gallotto and Devin but the award for coolest animal of the day goes to Dexter, who claims to have seen a tiger shark. It's not that I don't believe him, I'm just jealous that I didn't get to see it as well.

About two hours into snorkeling we headed back to the boat for some lunch to refuel
for round two of snorkeling. The food on the boat was surprisingly good and I
definitely feasted more than my share. Unfortunately, after lunch many of the
guys had had enough of the water and the lackluster weather, us hardcore
adventurers headed back out for round two in the water. I would argue that the
second time out was better than the first, that's actually when I saw the
stingray and yes I did find NEMO!

The last part of our adventure took place in the semi-sub, a boat that allows you
to sit down below the water level and see into the reef through windows. During
our semi-sub tour we spotted a sea turtle and several of Nemo's cousins. I
would love to tell you what everyone was doing on the seemingly endless ride
back to port but I am afraid that I was passed out most of the way home. I was
exhausted from the day and I think that many of my teammates used that time to
catch up on some sleep as well. All in all, it was a day unlike anything I have
ever experienced and one that I will never forget. It was a fantastic way to
end a fantastic trip. WOW!

Go Cougs!
Keaton Hayenga

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