Tuesday 28th - snorkelling on reef

Wild Carol does Australia
John and Fiona Fraser
Tue 28 Aug 2018 14:00
16 11.167S
145 53.533E

We were picked up by the ABC bus at 07:20 and we went aboard the ‘Independence’, a fairly small dive boat that only takes 12 divers/snorkellers. Of the 12 there were 3 certified divers, 2 doing a course and 1 doing a ‘discover scuba’ experience. The rest were snorkelling. Each of the three dive categories had an instructor/guide and the snorkellers also had a guide. 4 instructors for 12 customers, plus the boat captain, a pretty good ratio we thought. Some of the big reef boats carry 400 plus passengers and go in groups of 20 or 30.

Our trip to Chinaman reef took about 1 1/2 hours and the crew wasted no time in getting us in the water. Our guide, John, from Los Angeles originally, turned out to be an ace free diver. His fins were about 3ft long and, seemingly without effort, he dived to over 20m without weights, air or anything, just mask, snorkel and fins. He could clear his ears without pinching his nose - he looked at home in the water as any of th fish.

Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures to post as they are all on the card from the underwater camera and I can’t get them easily on my phone yet. I’ll post some in due course.

The reef was colourful enough and there was lots of coral and fish but also lots of evidence of damaged or bleached coral. Fi saw a big turtle and a manta ray as she was close to the guide. I was at the back and saw lots of fish but not much else. We snorkelled on three different sites and they were quite different. The last one had really a lot of fish.

We returned to harbour about 4. We couldn’t fault the crew or the service but all things considered we both enjoyed our day on the boat at the Ningaloo reef in WA more.

Shortly after we got back to the campsite a couple from London arrived in an Apollo motorhome. These were the first Brits we had encountered (apart from backpackers in outback road houses) since we arrived in Australia. In contrast we have seen Germans and French everywhere.

We’ll post some more photos from the day when we get them transferred.

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