PANIC IN PARADISE
OK Ok I promise this is the last post for now of me babbling on about another day in paradise turquoise warm waters, soft white sand , idyllic sunrises and sunsets lest I start to sound like a tourist brochure though let me just add …..I have spent the last few days at the Rosslyn Bay Resort and awaken to the sound of the waves rolling onto iduyllic Kemp beach …. just across the road where I have been nipping across for a swim AND day before yesterday just up the road a few minutes from here I took the walk up to Fan Rock where I came face to face with the most
spectacular rock formations formed due to volcanic pressures such as I had never seen before AND as I gazed out surveying splendid turquoise ocean vistas of the bay with the 16 or so Keppel Isles dotted throughout I looked down in to the ocean and saw no less than 3 giant turtles in pretty close to shore …..pretty special. We are now into the nesting season for turtles (greens and loggerheads ) and over the next couple of months they will be coming up onto the local beaches between here and Bundaburg to lay their eggs
So I have been frolicking in Paradise that is until my thoughts have turned to sharks ……It all started when I did a boat trip with Keppel Explorer The boat trip was billed as one which would take us to lesser known parts of Keppel island to visit beaches and snorkel and the trip didnt disappoint there We snorkelled in three different places around Great Keppel each one revealing different corals and some lovely fish ..
Though I had rather imagined we might be going out in a sailing vessel serenely cruising and sipping sodas between snorkels and must have gotten my trip brocuhures confused Instead the boat we went out in was like this 10 seater dinghy and we had to sit astride our seats as if they were geegees on a merry- go- round wearing wet weather jackets while the boat crashed through the waves each one landing us down in our seats with a resounding thud …..For a while there it was hell.
Visions of visits to chiropractors danced in my head as our spines were jostled and shaken It was one of those moments such as has happened a few times this holidays when my spirit is definately up for the adventure but my little human suddenly finds itself way out of its depth. Oops she did it again.Still as I looked around at the other passengers wiping salt spray from their faces mine were the only sunglasses that seemed to keep coming off and everyone else seemed to be smiling and having a great time so I figured I was gonna live …and once you got into the snorkelling and sank down into the serenity of floating weightless in the water gazing in to magical underawater worlds the jitters went away
I also did an admirable job for a middle aged lady with stiff knees getitng on and off the boat True Scotty the boats owner and our tour guide was a sweetie pushing me off the side and handing me my floatie pool noodle as was needed ..So there we were on our last snorkel for the day over at Monkey Bay I seemed to be quite a way from the rest of the other snorkellers but didnt really mind blissfully happily face down in the the water ..lost in the magical spectacle beneath me when suddenly I felt this almighty tug and bump on one of my legs…. Well I freaked out certain it must be a shark and what was coming next was the sensation of teeth sinking in to and tearing away at flesh …..I started yelling and looking around for the boat which was nowhere in sight Next my right leg cramped up and went into spasm from the shock probably so there I was in pain and panic clinging to my pink pool noodle when a lady diver pops here head up and says ever so apologetically ‘Sorry I didnt see you’
I told her what I thought of her careless careening about under water and not looking where she was going and finally got over the shock the cramp in my leg eventually subsided and I mused to myself how quicky things can change in the ocean .So many unforeseen variables.I made my way back ot the boat Ok but when I saw the same lady back on the boat later she told me that she had actually seen a metre long grey shark only shortly after she had bumped in to me .Apparently it was a harmless sort. Hmmmmm I was so glad she told me about her sighting AFTER she bumped into me and not before …..I told her the sighting was her karma for frekaing me out as she did
Then I got to doing some researchand alas my findings are not comforting .For some reason local councils have recenlty pulled down the shark nettings and technology along the local beaches here on the Capricorn Coast……In Kemp beach alone where I have been froliking and playing mermaids 34 bull sharks were either captured or spotted in the last year and although shark attacks on the Capricorn coast todate have been very rare with the removal of the nets now .Wont this number increase ?
I am not sure what the council is thinking by removing the shark nets but by the time I get to return to this beautiful idyllic part of the world I hope the council will have had the good sense to put them back up again ..Its just not the same frolicking in paradisical water with sinister grey shark shaped shadows lurking in the back of your mind
Na na na na
Thansk to Scott and the Keppel Explorer apart from the bumping and jostling which is just the nature of what you get for putting your hand up to zoom across the waves on a what amounts to a giant jet ski ,it was a great trip These guys their knowledge of the islands and their passion and enthusiasm for the environment which sustains their living and which they are committed to sharing and bringing alive for others is contagious and inspirational ……