A full day. At 9:00 we were at the Booking Office to get our fins, goggles etc ready for our big day out. It was windy so they weren’t sure exactly where we’d go but we started having a little “familiarisation session” in a place that had waves which left us both feeling uncomfortable and reluctant to have another go. I never seem able to keep water out of my mask and have to keep telling myself, “breathe in, breathe out through your MOUTH”. There was a strong current and our lesson for the day was, “Don’t try to keep up with people who swim for a living!” I stayed close to the boat and Alex regretted leaving it. He saw turtles and Reef Sharks, brightly coloured fish and mostly Staghorn Coral. No bright coral. I can’t even remember what I saw on that first dive. The second stop was to swim with Manta Rays and Alex was wise and stayed on board, I gave it a go but quickly realized I just couldn’t keep up with the leader so I got back on the boat. Watching from the boat just reinforced it was a good decision to make because the Manta Ray didn’t exactly cooperate and the leader would take off in one direction with his followers on his flippers then the Manta would take off in another direction and they’d all be off again. I was really happy to see the Manta appear underneath a mother and daughter who were worn out and coming back to the boat. From the boat we could just see a dark shape under the water.
After that little episode the boat went over the seagrass beds and we saw heaps of turtles. They didn’t stay around feeding when the boat arrived but some did stick their heads up for a look around. We also saw a Dugong, Eagle Ray, 3 Stingrays and a Tawny Nurse Shark. No-one went into the water there because it was a feeding zone and it was dangerous. Next for our amusement was a long trip out beyond the reef into the ocean for some whale spotting and of course, “Cap’n. Ahab” had to say to the deckhand, “Thair she blows”, as soon as he saw one! The best were the mother and calf Humpbacks which put on quite a show but it’s certainly easier to stroll down the grass at Port Elliot and watch the Southern Rights just offshore.
Next came the Reef Sharks “cleaning station” for those still with enough energy ( and one who THOUGHT he had enough) to swim to the area between 2 bommies. Neither of us were that delusional we just swam around the boat and enjoyed seeing all the bright fish which were very curious and came up quite close to check us out. I particularly liked the coral that looked just like a jelly straight out of a mould. I wish we were able to swim in the beautiful, calm turquoise water but that didn’t seem to have enough marine activity to make it worthwhile on a charter.
Tonight will be the Aloe Vera and tomorrow the red noses BUT we’ve booked a Quad Trek & unfortunately the only time was 12:45 so we’ll have to be smothered in sunscreen for that. Thanks to the editor for the photos.