Goodbye to Coral Bay
After a week of doing very little except snorkelling twice a day amidst the coral and tropical fish on our last two days in Coral Bays we planned a couple of excursions. On the Wednesday we tossed up between a 5 hour eco excursion to the outer reef to swim amongst the giant Manta Rays and look for whales and dugongs (which have become a real desire for Julie to see) or a shorter 3 hour trip in a glass bottomed boat to visit the feeding grounds of the Green turtle and snorkel on the inner reef. We chose the latter, not prepared to risk 5 hours on a boat considering Julie’s vertigo and Gary’s chronic sea sickness. Thursday Gary planned to join a kayak safari to paddle the three km to the reef, snorkel on pristine sites that you cannot get to without a boat and then paddle back. Unfortunately – it takes four to justify a safari and there was just Gary so it was just a last snorkel off the beach and then a goodbye photograph to help remember Coral Bay .
The sun has set some time ago but the water is warm and these children want to squeeze the last minutes out of a beautiful day
The trip to the inner reef was excellent. We passed across turtle feeding grounds where the boat was surrounded by Green Turtles, diving for food the rising for a breath and it was easy to photograph them.
Swimming just below the surface in this feeding zone this Green Turtle is unconcerned by the boat and the tourists
The trouble with being an air breathing animal in the water is having to interrupt your meal to come up for a breath
Any photographs I took of the coral through the glass bottomed boat were very disappointing in comparison with reality, so I choose not to post them. In the water snorkelling I had a disposable underwater film camera to capture the coral, the brilliantly coloured fish and my closeup encounters with Green Turtles but I will have to wait until I reach Perth to get them printed and hopefully scan the best for posting. If I ever came to areas like this again I would buy an underwater digital camera – a fellow traveller had a little Olympus rated for 10 metres which had cost about $300 – good value to be able to see and share your underwater experiences.
Crossing the 26th Parallel
Our trip from Coral Bay to Denham (via shopping stop in Carnarvon) was one of our longest days – our latest arrival at nearly 5 pm. It involved a crossing of the 26th parallel going south and then recrossing it going north up into the World Heritage area of Shark Bay. Denham is the most Western town in Australia and our Caravan Park is on the beach facing just the Indian Ocean, shielded by Dirk Hartog Island, site of the first European landing in Australian waters. It is our access point to Monkey Mia with tours of Shark Bay and the famous visiting dolphins.