Friday, March 21, 2008

I must be lucky!

I think one reason why I could get so in love with marine life within such a short time is because I am lucky!

Well, of course I haven't gone snorkeling to the Great Barrier Reef. That will have to wait until I have more money and time to spare. What I have access to are just the beaches around Perth. In general. Although I have also snorkeled at the Busselton Jetty and the Yallingup Lagoon. Oh! And the Yanchep Lagoon too, although now I really wonder why I went there.

Just the Perth beaches? What can you see there?

Well, this is why I said I am lucky. I try to go snorkeling every Saturday and Sunday. Most of the time the waters are not at their best. So I don't see much - just some small invertebrates like red and green sea anemones, orange and purple sea stars and some bluish purple sponges. And I see the regulars like red-lipped morwongs, banded sweeps and scalyfins (McCulloch's or western?) And the seaweeds and seagrasses too.

But on good days, I have on one occasion seen more than ten species within one hour and many of them in big schools. Can you imagine how impressed I was when I saw a school of 40 or so really fat common buffalo breams swimming past me?

And so far I have seen six rays (stingrays four times and stingarees twice). The feeling you get when you quietly swim behind a stingray is really nice!
And I have seen the octopus twice.
Sea hares twice.
And mind you, I haven't gone very far from shore and I was only in water two to three meters' deep when I saw them!

The biggest school of fish I have seen must have at least one thousand fishes in it, even though they are just a small fish a few cm in length.

And I have seen the world of gold that the sargassum and kelp patches 'conjure up' in sunlight! It is magical!

I have also come across a banded toadfish that hung around me for more than 5 minutes watching me taking photos of some seaweeds.

I must be lucky to have all these experiences because they motivate me to learn more about marine life.

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