Published: September 27th 2011September 27th 2011
We had a couple of close calls today, and one small disaster. The first close call was out on Ningaloo Reef. We went out on a reef viewing and snorkelling tour in a glass bottom boat. It is a great way to experience the reef. A few minutes after starting snorkelling, I glanced over to my right to see a shark swimming past me. I took a second to panic and swam straight back to the boat. The crew reassured me that it was probably a reef shark and not to worry. They did appear a little surprised though. I only saw the back half; so really don’t know what it was. It wasn’t until the tour was almost over that the tour leader informed us that there were five metre tiger sharks on the reef. Great. Despite the shark, snorkelling on the reef was wonderful. We saw many different fish and corals, but without the expected colour. I have snorkelled in Fiji a few years ago, and there was much more colour. Apparently it is something to do with light and because Ningaloo is a fringe reef unlike the Barrier Reef, which is a lot further from land. When he was climbing back onto the boat, Frank reached into the pocket of his swimmers and pulled out his car keys! On that key ring was the remote key for the Ranger and for the VW, at home. The VW one is about $800 to replace. Amazingly, they both seemed to be working, the one for the Ranger certainly was. They got a rinse in fresh water to make sure there wouldn’t be a problem with salt.
On the way out to the meeting point for the tour, we saw an emu with about six small chicks. Yesterday we saw an emu with two chicks around the same area.
After lunch, we ventured down to Learmonth Jetty for a spot of fishing. Our neighbour recommended this area for some whiting fishing. Fishing is so much more fun when you actually catch fish, and today we did. We caught two whiting, a garfish and some pretty reef fish, not sure of the variety. We kept the large reef fish and the small ones were returned to the sea. On one of his casts, Frank managed to snag the line on a rock, so he waded into the water to release it. Frank has a saying when somebody does the same stupid thing twice – “You’re a slow learner aren’t you?” Today, Frank is the slow learner. As he walked back onto the beach, I saw him remove the car keys, his wallet and iphone from the pocket of his once again wet swimmers. You can get away with it once, but iphones don’t like water, particularly salt water. Fortunately I packed my old iphone for the trip as an emergency phone. Seems it wasn’t such a silly idea after all. I think I will have to check Frank’s pockets in future, just to be safe. I wonder if the remotes will work by the time we get home.
We didn’t see any turtles while we were fishing, but did get to watch a few whales breaching. I can’t believe how many whales there are in the area. It seems like every time you look out to the horizon you see a whale. We have decided to stay another day in Exmouth so that we can go on the sunset whale-watching cruise tomorrow evening. That way we can get closer and hopefully get some good photos.
We had fish for tea tonight. There is something very satisfying about eating something you have caught, except for the bones.