We are in catch up mode, having spent days hidden at the Northern end of the Whitsundays out of internet service. So here is what we were up to last week.
It is supposed to be the tropical dry season, but we had a week of rain and strong wind! We spent a few days at Blue Pearl Bay all by ourselves, then when the swell became too uncomfortable and we had a short break in the weather, we moved to Maureen’s Cove, at the top of Hook Island for a few more days.
We kept ourselves amused for the previous week with the odd snorkels, plenty of reading, watching movies and bread making in between rain showers. We could not really sail anywhere in this weather. And besides, we were still waiting for the anchor winch thingy to arrive from NZ!
Despite the very ordinary weather, we have a few underwater images to share with you. This time we won’t include the many fish we saw. Instead we are showing you three unusual critters and a photo of a unique experience for Sue.
First there were the Nudibranches. Wade is fast becoming a specialist at finding these colourful slugs! They are only small – a couple of inches – and hide under ledges.
Then there were the Christmas Tree Worms, showing their spirally gills. We have shown these to you before, but this time we spotted a veritable forest along a ledge in shallow water! It is hard to get a clear shot when the swell jostles you about and stirs the sand at the bottom! We kept coming back from our snorkels with fuzzy images but got our shot on the third visit to the little colony.
Thirdly I found some Ctenophores, or Comb Jellies, floating around in mid water. These sometimes emit rainbow colored lights that travel along their combs but this one was just blobbing about, all lights off, which is a shame as with the overcast skies some bright lights would have come in handy! Because of the transparent jelly substance it is made of, it is hard for the camera to focus on the critter rather than the surrounding reef! This one is reasonably clear.
And last but not least Sue swam with a huge old Turtle! We have seen many Green Sea Turtles while snorkeling together, but this would have to be the biggest one ever and it was the first time Sue had a chance to swim alongside one. If you look at the photo of its head, as well as the image that shows the carapace, it will give you a sense of the turtle’s size and age. It was at least 1.4m from head to tail, and about 80cm across.
There was a method to our madness: we wanted to head to the outer reef to show our friend Sue the coral gardens at Bait Reef once the wind dropped and the rain stopped. This is what we did on Wednesday 10 July and where we are for a few more days. But more on this in the next post!