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  • Day66

    Shark Bay

    August 15 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    Monkey Mia is situated within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in WA's North West. Famous for its wild dolphin experience, Monkey Mia is surrounded by rusty red sand dunes, white sandy beaches and water teeming with wildlife. On our first day in Monkey Mia we swam out into the water hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the local dolphins, and we were treated to a very close encounter with two friendly dolphins who we later identified by the marks on their fins - Eden, a 19yr old female with a notch on the back and front of her fin from fishing line entanglement, and Jindi, a 4yr old female. The following morning we watched the dolphin feeding, where we were able to see even more of the locals up close while they waited for their breakfast, before heading out for a kayak. Kayaking around the bay we spotted sea turtles, reef sharks, rays, and of course dolphins.

    Despite our final days in Monkey Mia bringing with it torrential winds and rain, we made the most of our time and drove up to Francois Peron national park in the hopes of spotting some more wildlife. We spent hours at Skipjack point watching two dolphins and their calves hunt for fish by herding them into the shallows, and we were even lucky enough to spot some dugongs further out amongst the seagrass.

    On the way back down the coast we stopped in at Shell Beach - a beautiful white beach made up almost entirely of tiny shells from one type of animal, the Fragum cockle. As with our next stop, Hamelin Pool, the combination of high evaporation and the Faure Sill limiting water flow causes the water here to be twice as salty as the sea. The result is a lack of competition and predators for the Fragum cockle, leading to an incredible abundance of this one species.

    After shell beach we headed to Hamelin Pool to view the marine stromatolites. Also called ‘living fossils’, they’ve been at Hamelin Pool for 3.5 billion years. Hamelin Pool is internationally famous as one of only two places on the planet where these living fossils exist. They give us a glimpse into how the planet looked billions of years ago. Stromatolites grow successfully and undisturbed at Hamelin Pool due to the highly saline waters
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    Traveler

    OMB stromatalites - you are so lucky - I am dying to see those 😍

    8/21/22Reply
    Traveler

    Swag set up looks good 👍

    8/21/22Reply
    Traveler

    crazy eh, the beginning of live on the planet 😃

    8/21/22Reply
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