Anne Thompson at the helm over the Great Barrier Reef.
even got to swim with sharks... the ones with fins rather than the two-footed kind. Producer Mario Garcia, photographer Nelson Tharp and I couldn't stop smiling at each other and high-fiving over this assignment. Between the three of us, we've seen enough wars andmurders and man-made disasters to merit years of therapy. To see and report on one of the natural wonders of the world is a privilege and a delight.
From left, First Mate Andy, Captain Perry Jones and son Jazz, Nelson Tharp, Mario Garcia and Anne Thompson.
remarkable day and nothing was going to mar it. But our guide and captain, Perry Jones, insisted on diving to find them. His first attempt turned up nothing. Then he asked me where I was standing when I took off my hat. I showed him. He went to the same spot on the boat and dropped his sunglasses in the water. Then he went in. Following the current that carried his glasses, he found mine! So glad I didn't litter on the reef.
A WELL-TIMED WAVEOn a purely personal note, I love this picture. It was taken right after I finished doing one of the standups (where I appear on camera) you'll see tonight. As I said my last words, a wave came over the reef and swamped me and the dinghy I was sitting in. When I got up, Nelson burst out laughing when he saw me from behind. He grabbed his still camera and snapped this photo. It makes me laugh every time I see it and reminds me of a wonderful day.
For all our excitement about this trip, there's a lot to be concerned about, and that's the real focus of our story tonight -- the many challenges from man that the reef faces. Overfishing and water pollution are two issues, but the most pressing may be global warming or climate change. There is no question this area is under siege from climate change. Corals are extraordinarily sensitive to warming waters, meaning it is affected much faster than other ecosystems around the world.
Tonight, we'll show what has already happened, whas is predicted, and what is being done to prevent more damage. I hope you'll come with us on what was the trip of a lifetime.