The story so far: Lionel, excited by seeing pictures of Tasmanian Tigers, decided to seek his long lost fore-lions. He and Gavin hitched a ride north from Perth to Geraldton, Western Australia, then onward to the Shark Bay heritage region (Part 4 ) where they saw wild emus. Finally they arrived at Coral Bay (Part 5.). After two days searching the beach and dunes and the hinterland, they rested, snoozed, napped, flopped about, and ate ice creams.
Lionel and Gavin’s Chauffeurs, the Guardian and Guardian-ess, having driven 1500km to this little place, were bursting to see the coral. They snorkelled in the clear water just out from the beach and saw skate rays, lots of coloured fish and star fish and amazing coral shapes. They wanted to see what lay out further( beyond that long sandspit you can see in the distance of the picture above) and so they boarded the good ship Ningaloo.
There were a dozen of us tourists (not Lionel and Gavin, as they don’t like getting their fur wet). We ranged in experience from the skilled snorkellers to the utterly hopeless (that one was Me, your correspondent.) The crew kept us all safe and showed us the marvels. They thought they had the best job in the world. They sure do.
The wind had been up for days but on our day it fell, and we enjoyed calm seas, clear skies and a glorious day. Perfect conditions for spotting manta rays. But first, the coral reef! Once we reached the deeper water, we set off to see the Other World, under the water.
At the spot right beneath the snorkelers here (below) we saw reef sharks – look there goes one – and big coral formations. The greyish area is where the outer reef lies with the Ocean Deep lying beyond that.
All the underwater pictures in this post are by courtesy of Tom Cannon Photography and Film. Tom has lived in the Coral Bay Area for six years and is an enthusiast of the marvels of the Ningaloo fringing reef and of all marine life. It was a lucky chance that he was with us that day. So enjoy Tom’s pics of some of the coral.
Some formations rose from the sea floor like sculptures. These ones are by the outer reef just before the drop off to the deep water. You don’t need scuba gear here at this point; snorkelling is enough. But the currents can move you around a bit.
There are all sorts of colours, and you can see a few fish in there. This is a marine sanctuary so they are quite safe.
You must take care that the currents don’t brush you up against the coral. You could damage it and yourself. And a coral scratch is nasty. But the currents also allow you to just drift above it all taking in the marvellous shapes below. You feel like you are still, hanging in the water, while the coral slips beneath you.
I thought of these coral animals as reaching out and calling, “Here we are, here we are.”
Just nosing about.
A school of striped yellow fishes
It’s just an amazing other world down there.
We also saw turtles, all kinds of fish caught on a video by Tom ( but it will not play on my website, sorry) and incredibly, majestic manta rays. Your correspondent choked into his snorkel with excitement at the first sight of one.
So let’s surface, clear the snorkel, go down again and see manta ray pictures in the next episode of …. Da da da daaah dummmm … Lionel Seeks His Fore-Lions.
Mawson Guardian Says: Gavin and Lionel live with Mawson Bear. Mawson writes little books full of muddles , bafflements, and even some accidental wisdom.
Where to find Mawson’s Books: Our publisher is OdysseyBooks where you can find fun and beautiful books with pictures for grownups.At Amazon everywhere, including at Amazon Australia (where Mawson Lives), Amazon UK and Amazon France, among others.