Snorkeling at Coral BayMarch 12 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C
It was Machiel's birthday. So the day started with a call to home. On the way to Coral Bay we saw more and more termite nests, most of which were taller than we were. It gave us a new variation of the Australian bush desert to look at while driving. In Coral Bay we checked into one of their expensive campsites and relaxed in the shade. The bush flies gave Machiel a nice present by not being present, so we could use our table and chairs and sit outside without a headnet! After a few slices of regular bread lunch we went to have some birthday pie and cake at the local bakery until our stomachs felt too full.
After our stomachs felt better and the worst heat of the day was over we went to the beach, just when it was also getting cloudier. We first wanted to go into the water a bit outside of the bay to then drift with the current back. While walking through the shallow water we saw three blue spotted rays very close to us buried in the sand. One got between us and the beach and felt cornered so swam away with hyper drive, quite close to us. As there was nobody else around in the water there and we didn't feel too confident, we walked back to the bay where there were more snorkelers. Like the brochure says: "when in doubt, don't go out!".
Back in the bay getting in the water was easier as it was steeper. It was completely cloudy at this point and there had been some strong winds earlier, which didn't help the underwater visibility. Nonetheless, the fish activity was amazing. There were many decently sized fish right at the shoreline, curiously swimming around our feet. Then when we put our heads under water we were immediately greeted by a 1 meter long spangled emperor. Turns out he wasn't alone either, and even while standing on the shoreline we could see many of them swim by. They were intimidating at first but they seemed nice and we got well used to them. The fish and the coral was nowhere near as colorful as in Fiji, but we did see several lionfish, which are cool but also creepy being venomous and all. The water was also noticeably colder than in Fiji, where we figuratively could stay in the water the whole day without getting cold. After going in and out a few times we were losing temperature and at some point had to call it a day.
After a shower in somewhat OK bore water, we went to the café next to the camping for a nice pizza, salad and birthday beers.Read more