Perth - Exmouth - Perth 2

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Day 4 - Coral Bay - Exmouth

05.05.07

 

Today we had a lazy 'take off' ...at 9.00 A.M. we went to the harbor and were allocated the boat for our snorkeling tour.

Guide by experienced Aussies, knowing the area and the habits of the manta Rays, we left to the open sea.

It is not easy to find them, .. the guarantee to see some is not provided! To achieve a high chance, the tour providers rely on planes flying over the sea and searching for the 'dark spots' ( Manta's ) in the turquoise colored water!

Once spotted, it all is well prepared ... the boat is guided to the area and we dressed, prepared with snorkeling equipment and slowly went into the water.

Even knowing Manta rays being plankton eaters, knowing their frightening size and gentle appearance, I was scared to death on the upcoming! ... but it wasn't a manta I first saw in the sea, .. it was a small shark, who almost caused me an heart attack! 

Just recovered from my first 'shark-attack' and slowly started breathing again I spotted my first 'Manta Ray' ... me and the mantas in their environment!

Elegant, graceful, gentle ... whatever you call it ... it all suits! Me just the opposite .. excited, nervous and delighted .. stopped breathing again!

This is real life ... no wars, no bad news, no pushing & no stress! Why the hell  'mankind' can't learn from them and adopt their habits? .. we enjoyed their presence for 1/2 an hour and then moved on to Ningaloo Reef to discover the smaller species on the reef and agreed this to be much better, then the sea life observed on the Great Barrier Reef. Cristal clear water, thousands of different fishes and corals and unavoidable we also saw reef sharks and normal rays! As advised from the rest of the group, we also saw turtles, which unfortunatly I ddn't see ... a small misfortune! ... =) =)     

Late afternoon we directly moved on to Exmouth, which was a 150Km drive .. full of memories and scared, that all may have been a dream and I could weak up any minute!

Think everyone expected Exmouth to be bigger, .. but it wasn't. No city along the West Coast really offers real activities but we still enjoyed the peaceful surrounding and !

The hostel in Exmouth was a highlight as such and offered all a heart can ask for.  After dinner we went down the road to have a look and attend the to the yearly 'Whaleshark Festival'. We had some bear lots of stories from the day and enjoyed the music from a Live Band. Lots of people discussed the fact, that there were not many whale sharks seen the past month. As we were expected to go on a whale shark trip next morning, Lenni and me were a little depressed ... but ...

'the hope is the last one to die'!

 

Day 5 - Exmouth / Whale Shark snorkling

06.05.07

 

around 7.30 A.M. we were picked from the hostel and besides Lenni & me, there were another 2 girls from the group, which participated in the whale shark adventure and hopes! The Japanese was on our boat, the other one on another boat. All over all there were 6 boats out on the sea, trying to track down a whale shark.    

The boat crew was very informative and enjoyable. First we approached the Ningaloo Reef and got used to the snorkeling .. think this also was a test from the crew to judge our snorkeling skills. 

9:00 A.M. - you have no idea, how cold the water was! We have already spent 20min's in the water - gorgeous fishes but not really fun, as we were freezing!
The outside temperature of 25 - 30 Grade Celsius didn't really help!

Later we further moved out towards the open sea.

We knew, .. no guarantee, no money back no xx, no yy ... and a little more of the no's! Lenni and myself already accepted this fact and made our self comfortable on the front of the boat, enjoying the sun and the wide open sea. Still in the hope of the lucky moment to come! .. probably someone said a pray? .. and there it was:

"Good News, we found a whaleshark" ... these were the magic words everyone was waiting for! Oh good, .. my heart stopped beating! Definite I wanted to see one, .. but seems subconscious I hoped that we will fail .... there was a big internal scare, when I though about meeting a whale shark in his territory!

Again it was a plane, who discovered the shark. The boat moved full speed ahead and we came close to the forecasted area. All had to speed up putting the snorkeling gear on and getting ready for the ultimate climax!

We were split into 2 groups called A & B.

when we approached the place, a crew member dived into the water to locate the sharks position and finally identify him as the 'sought-after' animal! Once identified, group A was dropped some 20 meter ahead of the sharks track and just had to wait for his appearance. 5 divers had to stay on his right and the other 5 on his left. Once the shark had passed they were picked up again and dropped again ahead of him ... this was revolving for about one hour. The sight under water was not too good ... plankton .. and wasn't more then 5-7 meters.    

When I first caught eyesight on the animal, approaching me out of the deep blue water, my heart stopped beating, I stopped breathing and probably stopped any vital blood circulations in my body! I knew how it looked like from pictures, I knew the story about eating plankton only and still immediate started questioning all of  that. It all exceeded my expectations!  

Another adventure, which can not be put in words. We drifted very close to the shark and had plenty of time to observe all the details of this  beautiful creature. Due to the high waves, it also became very demanding on our our physical condition. All over all this lasted about 1 hour ... we forgot the cold water, the freezing and salty waves .... we didn't care of anything, except the shark!

his day was the absolute climax of my OZ trip so far! .. unforgettable! 

Lenn i& myself were over warmed ... first to see one at all and second to be on the exploring boat! The other 5 boats also joined the area, but their divers were only allowed a 5 minutes dive - then it was the next boats turn! Sort of a tour company codex, which will allow all the boats to  see the shark, but only the exploring boat to spend an hour with the creature.

I can only recommend this to everyone .. even if the chance is little! My father first had to push me to do this - now I'm thankful for this ... an experience for lifetime!!! =)
I think I never had slept as well, as I did after this day! =) =) =)
 

Day 6 - Exmouth - Northbrook

07.05.07

 

After we have finished our activities around Exmouth, the time came to move on and head back towards Perth! The day purely was an extreme 'bus-marathon, with a driven distance of 800Km's in total! Our stay for this night was a little farm in the middle of nowhere and everyone went to bed around 8:00 P.M. .... more dead then alive!  =)

 

Day 7 - Northbrook - Perth

08.05.07

 

Ready for the last few miles back home to Perth. We used one of the small stopover, to test our skills in 'sand boarding' down the slope of a small dune. To be honest ... for me not too exciting, as I have spent many years surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the 'Rub Al Khali' in Abu Dhabi. Besides it was pretty slow and didn't really work out, still it was lots of fun!

Later on we made our last stop at a place called 'Hutt River'! It is a self-governed country within Australia, which was founded by a gentleman called Mr. Lennard. Due to his countries autonomic status, he calls himself 'Prince Lennard' from Hutt River! To get there, you will have to show your passport, get the same stamped and you will be granted a one day visa.

The man himself is 83 years of age and almost impossible to decode his words ... this is what you call a 'Slang'!

Somehow he had discovered a 'legal loophole' and founded his own district. Based on this fact, he could bypass Import & Export taxes! ... at least this is what I understood ... but as I said, ... he is soo difficult to understand and I will have to research on Internet after my return of this trip, if I really got the point.

Then we departed for our last stage back to Perth, where we arrived around 18:oo P.M.!

The trip was amazing, very informative and delivered lots of fun, .. I have to recommend to everyone to get on one of these trips! Within theses days, I have seen and learned more of the country, culture and habits, then the passed

7 month I have traveled Australia!  ... Awsome Mate =)
 

 

www.lena-OZ.de

 

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