Another day on the reef
9 September 2012
You know when you are really tired but it’s a good tired? An, I’ve been out doing something great like walking/kayaking/surfing tired, rather than what a day at work tired. Well that’s us tonight. We are both knackered! What a day! From first thing this morning until the sun melted into the sea its been incredible.
We started our morning with a little lie in followed by a pancake breakfast, Olly has perfected them and they are such a treat every so often. We then headed straight to ‘Lakeside’ one of the spots we snorkelled yesterday. We spent all day there, in and out of the water and chatting with people – its funny we have been here 3 days and we knew half the people on the beach today from our travels.
Our first snorkel we were out for ages and had a magical time. Its so brilliant being able to put on your mask and snorkel, pop on the fins, float out and start seeing coral and fish. We both love it. It’s a different world under there and I am completely absorbed in it, especially when we see a turtle. We swam with one for ages today and were swimming along next to each other and next to this magnificent Green turtle when I saw something out of the corner of my eye and instinctively grabbed Ollys arm hard, its was an enormous stingray flapping and floating along. Its span was as big as my outstretched arms. I didn’t know where to look or what to follow! We followed the stingray for a while until it ducked under a bommie. Later we saw another smaller turtle and he let us swim with him as well. They are ever so graceful and serene looking as they barely move a flipper to glide along, popping up every so often for a breath. I lost Olly for a minute and when I turned around to see if I could spot him, I was startled by a reef shark, about a metre long. He was darting here and there in a very sharky way so I didn’t see him for long.
After snorkelling for awhile this afternoon I was starting to get chilly and told Olly I was heading in and he said he would follow in a minute or two, as I was coming in I noticed a small group of people all in one spot on the beach pointing at something in the water. There were not many people on the beach and they seemed to all be standing next to each other so it was obvious. I noticed a dark shape in the water a short way up the beach and my first instinct was to snorkel over and have a closer look, I though it was a ray or something as it was very close to shore. So I put my head down and started in that direction, I popped my head up and a women on the beach was frantically pointing and saying ‘get out’ to myself and another person near me, I made my way as quick as I could to the beach so I was only in calf deep water. I could then see the distinct shape of a large shark swimming away. It was a 2 metre shark, in all likelihood a perfectly harmless reef shark but when someone is shouting get out and pointing, you do! I wanted Olly to come in so when he popped his head up I made the shark signal (hand on head, sticking up, exactly what you would think would be the sign for shark) and motioned big, hoping he would get the big and shark together and waved for him to come in, he did. By this time he was the only person in the water! Everyone stayed out for a bit then people made their way back in, keeping the kids in shallow water. This sounds a bit stupid but I had no idea sharks came in that close to the beach.
After spending all day there we decided to check out our camp for the night and rinse the salt and sand off, my hair is able to stand up on its own after days of only salt water. We had a rinse with our shower, a quick dinner and walked over the dunes from camp with our chairs and a hot drink to watch the sun set. We both marvelled at our day as we sipped our drinks and watched the sun dip down we could see a few whales on the horizon. Soon we could see a ray skimming the surface and saw turtles pop up for a breath, just while sitting there watching the sun set!! We are looking through our fish book now to try to identify the ray and some of the fish we saw today and will soon be snuggled in bed.
We feel so lucky.