Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Cape Range National Park - 10/09/12 to 13/09/12

We packed up early to get to the Tantabiddi Boat ramp to meet up with our tour, Ningaloo Dreaming.  What a day!!! We snorkeled twice, once on the inner reef and then on the outer reef.  We had to be careful when snorkeling on the outer reef as there were some big waves coming through. It was amazing to watch the fish move with the currents as the waves came through. We saw heaps of different types of fish, amazing shapes and colours, especially on the first dive as we were closer to the coral. There didn't seem to be much colour in the coral but every now and then we would see bright green or blue tipped ones. On the outer reef dive we saw two sea turtles and the boys were taught how to dive down with the snorkels.  Nate did really well but went down to far and hurt his ears.  He now knows how to equalise his ears.  I swam though schools of fish - an amazing feeling.

We saw Humback Whales doing pec and tail slaps and also two Humbacks close to the boat.  They recon one of them must have been hit by a boat and injured its back as it was misshapen and wasn't diving at all.  The other Humback was there to watch over him.  There were about five tiger sharks and one great white shark keeping a close watch on the whale. They must have known it wasn’t well and were getting ready for an easy feed.  The guys running the boat tour were like little school boys when they saw the sharks as they hadn’t seen any before and were putting their heads under the water with snorkel gear on.  At one stage they jumped in but soon were out as the sharks came closer.

On our way back to the boat ramp, after what we thought was a pretty successful day of snorkeling, and with all of the snorkeling gear washed and put away, one of the boys spotted a Whale Shark. This was unusual for this time of year.  All of the gear came back out and we were all in the water again.  It was hard work keeping up with the whale shark. We think it was about five metres long. I snorkeled with it four times and on the last two times it nearly ended up swimming into me.  It totally freaked me out and  I screamed and swam like crazy.  It was amazing to watch to swish its tail and move though the water.  The boys snorkeled twice with the whale shark.  Nate thought it was pretty spooky swimming beside the whale shark as the water was murky and it couldn't be seen and then was just there in your face.  Jacob was speechless; he actually said that he swore when he first saw it.  It was early to bed that night after our very tiring but exhilarating day.

Patiently waiting for our boat trip

Off we go

Our boat Ningarloo Dreaming

Doug the boys and me all kitted up for our snorkel

Jacob and Nate with their new friends Harry, Callan and Declan

Humpback whale doing pec slaps

The injured Humpback (grey) with his friend (black)

That shadow is the whale shark

We didn't have a underwater camera.  This is to show you what it looks like and this is exactly what we saw.

 and this is what I saw when I looked up after jumping in the water. It was coming straight for me.

 A beautiful graceful creature

The ride back to shore after a successful day

We spent three nights in Cape Range National Park and, although a little windy at times, we loved it. There are lots of different snorkeling spots along the coast. The best being Turquoise Bay and Oyster Stacks, where you can see plenty of different fish and corals.

Our camp ground "Osprey" 

Right on the beach

Our camp site

Osprey beach

Just check out the colour of the water. 

Snorkeling Osprey

Yardie Creek Gorge

We did the short walk up to the look out 

Crazy boys

An evening visitor to our camp

Turquoise Bay.  You do a drift snorkel at this spot

Oyster Stacks. Great snorkel spot but we only got to do this once as you can only snorkel when the tides are high and  there is enough water to cover the stacks.  

We are starting to see a few wild flowers.  

Thirsty Emu. We had to wait until he had finished his drink before we could fill up the tanks in the van. And he wasn't moving until he was good and ready.

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