Yeah that’s how that song went!
130 Years after the crew of the schooner Maud , another motley crew had arrived in Coral Bay – one of the best places in the world. The beach here was superb and the area is Australia’s only fringing reef!
We checked into the hostel and had a look throught the leaflets as the next day we had to choose an optional activity. As a group we decided on Aqua Rush! This is a snorkeling trip with a difference, the difference being the boat is powered by 2 x 225hp Yamaha Engines. This means you get more snorkelling time and get thrown around on a high-powered boat.
All that was left for the night was another great BBQ followed by a few drinks and games of pool. We also got introduced into the great Australian tradition of “signing in”. This is where you vouch for the good behaviour for outsiders in the Hostel Bar and in return they buy you drinks. Our client this time was a large hairy man from Albany up on a fishing trip.
Let me break that down for you. The guy drove 1,525km to go catch some fish. That’s the same distance as Calais (North Eastern France) to Madrid (Central Spain). Mind bottling!!
The next morning we headed to Coral Bay beach. White sand, fish swimming around you and clear crisp blue water. This place is heaven. It was a shame to leave the beach but we had our snorkelling to look forward to.
Well Karen looked forward to it. As a weak swimmer and someone who is scared of drowning, John was a bit unsure of it all as he got into the boat and ‘freaked out’. At these moments Karen always says the wrong thing…
“John are you ok?”
Like a red rag to a bull and in between clenching of teeth, John shouts back..
“I’m FINE!. I Will Speak to you LATER!”
But see a few minutes into the actual snorkelling trip – John was swimming like a fish – all thanks to his trusty noodle! (Buoyancy aid). It’s easy to forget you are in the ocean when you see amazing things below you.
Karen being a better swimmer and attempting to dive down saw sharks and a whole heap more. Our guide Tom used to be a free-diver so he was good at showing Karen some of the hidden gems down there.
After 40 minutes we were back on the boat and headed to the next spot – Turtle Hatching spot. We both were in the front row and got absolutely drenched. This part of Australia (between Shark Bay and the Northwest tip of the country) is an important nesting ground for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle with 50-150 females laying eggs here annually (Prince 1993, 1994b).
Seeing the loggerhead turtles swim under the water was magical, ballerinas of the deep indeed. Unfortunately these are another Endangered Animal – seriously we need to take a look at ourselves – so we only saw a couple of them.
Karen claims it is better than the Great Barrier Reef for snorkeling, an opinion shared by every Western Australian.
After the snorkelling we had a small break before jumping back in the wanderly wagon to head to our final destination – Exmouth!
As this was a long enough drive we passed the time away playing a Filippi Clan favourite – Celebrity Heads. Tom nearly crashed the van with the hilarity that ensued. If you haven’t played this game, the rules are simple. You get a piece of paper with a celebrities name on it. You don’t know who it is but everyone else does and by the process of Yes/No type questions you have to work out who it is.
Normal questions are like: “Am I Male?, Am I a Sports Person??, What Sportsperson etc!”
Ingmar “Dutchy” had never played before so his questions were more like: “Am I sexy?, have I had work done?, or our favourite.. Do I have a muscular physique!”
With hardly a dry eye in the van (from laughter) we pulled into Exmouth and our last stop on the tour.