Published: April 29th 2012April 24th 2012
Saturday afternoon, April 21, we arrived in Coral Bay and checked into our caravan park, and headed to the beach. This is one of those places, as was Turquoise Bay, where against expectations, the water really is the variety of amazing colors of blue and green as depicted in the travel brochures....absolutely gorgeous. We inspected amazing sand castles and watched a group of elderly Japanese tourists learn how to put on snorkel masks. Had a great seafood dinner at the local restaurant. Coral Bay is only nominally a town; it is essentially 3 adjacent resorts, each with a strip mall and various services such as grocery stores, dive shops, a bottle shop, an a couple of cafes. Sunday the 22nd we had booked to go out on a whale shark boat. We had 3 lovely snorkels, but the spotter plane never did spot a whale shark.Second try with the whale sharks on Monday the 23rd.....but no go. One was briefly glimpsed but dove before the first group had finished leaving the marlin board (that's nautical talk for the platform at the back of the boat).
Just sat outside to watch the sunset and people watch a large group at the
BBQ area. The Dads had all the kids up and were playing a pass the ball variation on duck duck goose. Then the little kids organized their own running / skipping / galloping relays, while rugby drills happened with the older boys. Very fun to watch! I guess because it is a family resort sort of place, there have been many charming family scenarios, on the beach, picnicking, making sand castles....
Spending 14 hours on a boat over the last two days certainly afforded lots of time to chat with a big variety of Australians. It has been interesting to compare information and exchange ideas on Aboriginal policies (maybe not as far along as First Nation affairs here in Canada, many of the same challenges), mining (a geologist was stunned to hear that we still have free entry staking in the Yukon), the price of groceries, petrol, other living expenses in UK compared to Australia (except for purchasing real estate, apparently it's much cheaper to live in London, England than Perth, Australia), environmentalism in Oz, maternity leave (you get maternity benefits for only 10 weeks, but they have to hold your job for up to 2 years for you
to come back to) Susan and I have been alternating between eating out at Fin's Cafe, and taking picnic suppers to the beach. We have seen some pretty amazing sunsets. Can you see the cricket game in progress at the edge of the water?
Tuesday the 24th was our last day in Coral Bay. We went snorkeling off the beach. It was still pretty windy, as it had been for the previous week, so the waves were being blown pretty strongly parallel to the shore. We would walk up the beach, then swim out to the coral, and then let the wind and the current blow us down the beach until we reached a certain point and then we would head into shore, and do it all again. During the snorkeling here we saw many fish, turtles, manta rays, a reef shark, octopus, cuttlefish, jellyfish....my prescription snorkel mask were well worth the cost!
There are more photos below