Wednesday 1st June
Day 62 - Snorkelling at Coral Bay.
- Weather: Started off beautiful and continued so far, must be 25°.
- Wind: about 5kph W.
A mild night, I only used my ONE blanket.
Went to sleep about 8pm and woke about 6am, strange that. Tried to find a radio station but no AM or FM stations to be found. By the way, yesterday I
had trouble trying to find the satellite at one stage I have given up and tried to tune in analogue Tv, but no stations found. Not to give in, I moved
the satellite dish from the front to the back of the fiver and this worked, it is sort of cramped van sites for a sat dish to work.
Anyway I got sidetracked again, at 6am Marg woke and so we flicked on Sunrise and watched them until 9am. After showering in bore water, we wandered
over to the surf shops, and looked at rashies. Tour-Surf shop no. 1 didn't have any in adult sizes, big help. Surf shop the price was $140 reduced from $179
I didn't get to see the sizes, the price put me off. Tour-Surf shop no. 2 had them long sleeve 2XL for $50 each, we bought a pink one and a black one.
My pink one clashes something shocking with my flippers, or did Marg wear the pink one, you may never know, as I didn't take my camera to the beach, as I
didn't want it flogged, consequently, no photos available, and also Coral bay do not hire underwater cameras. Bummer. You can buy a 10 shot film underwater
plastic disposable Kodak camera for $25, that's no good for me, I am only warming up at 10 shots.
Here is this morning's description of our beach activities, I will try to paint the picture:
I took towel, flippers, mask, snorkell and rashy, I wore my throngs, boardies and a T shirt, I also had a $20 note in my boardies for Ron, as in 'Later on'.
Marg took towel, flippers, mask, snorkell and rashy, she wore throngs, bathers and a cheese cloth dress and smokes. We walked the 200 meters to the closest
beach, then took off our throngs and walked through the water for another 200 meters, to where I saw about 10 people snorkelling. We dropped our gear and
walked into the water, the tide is in, the first 50 meters was about knee depth, then the bottom drops away to approx 4 meters and the coral starts. Ohh,
did I tell you that the water is crystal clear, sorry I forgot too, also did I tell you that it was WARM without a wetsuit on, sorry I forgot too.
We put on our flippers etc and slowly swam towards where the coral is. The first thing that I saw underwater were the snapper from last night, they
were just staring at me about a meter away, then as I got nearer to the coral the fish numbers increased. The coral is not that colourful, but its
closeness to the beach made up for any lack of colour. I showed Marg a large clam about 18" wide and heaps of different shapes of coral. The fish are
obviously used to humans as they kept just out of my reach, I even tried to grab a snapper, but guess what, it moved. It was just beautiful in the water.
After about 2 hours, I left the water and Marg was already ashore, so we walked back to camp, showered, hung out our beach gear and had lunch.
It is 2:10pm and we are going back for another snorkel about 3:30pm. The current weather is about 25°s with a light onshore breeze and some high
level clouds filtering out the sun.
About 3:30pm, I went snorkelling without Marg. This time I went straight off the beach in front of the beach access path, I know that you feel for me,
but the water was a bit murky, so I only stayed about 30 minutes and then went back to camp and had a chilled refresher or two.
Tomorrow, I am leaving at 8am to swim with the Whale Shark, I can't wait. Talk later if I am not eaten by the Whale Shark.
- Weather: At 4:10am it pissed rain, I had to get up to close all the hatches and windows.
- Wind: Light SW.
I couldn't believe it about 4:10am, it fell out of the sky, I was up and closing all the hatches and all the windows, I even went outside and brought
in the washing, until then it was a mild to warm night. It rained for 30 minutes and I thought that's all I need, as I was going to swim with
a Whale Shark. Anyway I got up at 7am and the weather had changed to a cloudless sky with a light breeze. I left Marg to clean the fiver and I walked
over the road, about 100 meters from camp, to the Coral Bay Adventures (CBA), a bit like Frostys Aussie Adventures, maybe not.
We all met at CBA and at 8am the 18 hopefuls were loaded into a mini bus and our adventure had started, we were driven to the boat harbour. We alighted
from the mini bus and boarded our vessel for the day, it was probably 50ft long and 20ft wide not a catamaran, just a single hull. We left the jetty and
headed north, we also slipped into our wetsuits. First stop was about 1 kilometer from the shore and the jetty, where we dropped anchor and went
snorkelling and looking at coral and fish, this lasted about 45 minutes and was brilliant. I saw a turtle, a stingray and heaps of coloured fish. Back on
board and we continued North, our fearless skipper said it will probably take about 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the area that a Whale Shark was seen yesterday,
so we made ourselves comfortable, I went and sat on the front deck, so I could watch where we were going, there were about 8 others with me, including a
29yo Swiss chick. On our way, we saw flying fish, 2 sea snakes (I just managed to photo one) and that was it. There were 2 other Whale Shark boats with
us about a kilometer in front and out to sea of us, there was also a spotter aircraft. The Tuesday tour didn't see any Whale Sharks, so the policy is that
you can go again on another day, so we had 5 people from Tuesday's tour with us.
We arrived at the area where the Whale Shark was, it was just off Point Cloates (check it out that is a fair distance from Coral Bay) and about 500 meters
seaside of the breaking surf on the outer reef. We were grouped into 2 groups of 9 including a guide, so 10 in total. As there are 3 tour boats in the area
the 1 st boat drops their first group off and after x minutes it drops off the 2 group and picks up their 1st group, then the 2nd boat drops off their 1st
group and the 1st boat picks up their 2 group, get the idea, then when all persons on the 3 boats have had a swim, we start again, we managed 4 or 5 swims each.
The skipper positions his boat in front of the Whale Shark and it swims towards us and then when we see it, we move to its side and then as its head
passes us, we swim after it, sounds easy well it ain't. When it was my group's turn, we slipped into the water at the back of the boat as smoothly as
possible as not to scare the Whale Shark. We swam towards our guide and then you see it. IT IS BLOODY AWESOME. My first sighting was my best it just
swam straight at me, it was so magnificent, just gently swimming not too fast straight at me, I moved to its side and it just glided past me, so awesome.
Have I already said that, IT WAS .... I am lost for words. Just Brilliant. So I managed another 4 swims, 3 were good, the other one the Whale Shark decided to
dive so we let him. Skipper reckons that it was about 8 meters, you know, longer than our van. The Whale Shark had probably 20 sucker fish and heaps of
smaller fish just swimming with it.
On our last swim, my Swiss chick called out SHARK. and sure enough, there was a reef shark swimming about 10 meters away, it does send nasty thoughts
through your mind, but we all got back to the 'mother ship' some quicker than others, I think that I was first back. No, only joking.
On the way back to the jetty, we saw 2 hump back whales and some Manta rays and then close to the jetty but a different spot to the first snorkelling spot,
we stopped for our 2nd snorkelling go, the tide was going out so some of the coral was very close to the surface and with the waves washing over it, the
fish and I mean walls of fish were on our side. There was fish everywhere.
It was a magic day.
Ohhh yes, Marg enjoyed cleaning the fiver as well.
Tomorrow, we are driving to Ningaloo Lighthouse CP in Exmouth about 160 kms.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to me standing on my head holding the aerial trying to get an Internet connections, some of the photos may not be here, BUT
I will try over the next few days to complete the upload.
Video of a Whale shark swim
this is the tour company that I went with, video courtesy of www.westernaustralia.com