Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snorkling Trip out on the Ningaloo Reef

We signed up for a snorkeling adventure, a day on a catamaran to get closer to the Ningaloo Reef just off our bath-tub Coral Coast beach. Though it was not quite as expected (a dual-hulled fishing boat, not a cat sailing ship) we still enjoyed a nice day on the water. The day was slightly overcast (thankfully) and it was just our family of six, plus two relief- teachers from Melbourne, Canadians girls (one from Saskatchewan, one from Niagara Peninsula area of Ontario).

First stop was to Asher's Gap (named after our boat captain) and was a guided snorkle to a cabbage coral area frequented by sharks.... ummmm. After our (my) initial hesitation, we jumped overboard and were immediately surrounded by friendly fish of every color, and beautiful corals beneath. A short swim to the "Gap" and the corals opened to a deeper basin, and yes, ShaRKS! Not the shovel-nose variety from yesterday, but Lemons and Black-Tips, and White-tips too, at least ten of them in sight at once, busy "cleaning" below us. After the initial "ahhhhhh", it was really an incredible experience.

Back aboard the boat, and over to the "Northwest Point" area where the Manta Rays were sighted, we then had the chance to chase after these gentle giants floating across the sea with mouths open, scooping up whatever was in the path. Jaclyn particularly enjoyed that, as it was difficult to catch up with the current and the speed of those fish - they can swim up to 24 km/hr and if you are on the wrong side of their turns you are left in the dust, so to speak. She had a great experience and would count the rays as her highlight.

Next stop was another snorkle spot, and the boys again found a shark to follow, with their confidence increasing with each experience. Katie liked the freedom here ofbeing closer to the boat and at her own speed, and she loves seeing all the fish around her - just like being in an aquarium. It is awesome to see her become more confident with each time she goes out.... and she is loving the water even more.

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