Sunday, November 9, 2008

Summary for the last twelve months (or so)

I first swam in the ocean in March 2006 in Penguin Island. And when I first put on a snorkeling mask, that was in December 2006 and in Penguin Island too. I don't remember enjoying it very much. It takes a bit of time to get used to using a snorkel but I just lost my patience in a split second. Or it could be due to the mask leaking too quickly.

Finally in October 2007, I bought my first set of snorkeling gear and decided to learn snorkeling, which I did in Busselton. That experience was nice but it could have been better if I had my contact lenses then. Anyway, since then, I have been snorkeling quite regularly. And in January 2008, I invested in a waterproof camera and soon after, I started this blog.

Now that a year has passed, I thought it would be nice to sum up my experience in snorkeling.

Places where I have hit the water with my snorkel:

Busselton Jetty, Yallingup Lagoon,
Monkey Mia
Yanchep Lagoon,
Rottnest Island, Penguin Island
Coral Bay, Cottesloe,
Marmion Marine Park

The first fish I learnt to id
: Red-lipped morwong

Where I visited the most: Cottesloe (40 visits between Nov 2007 - present) (out of ~74 snorkeling trips done)

Where I feel most at home
: South Cottesloe

Unforgettable underwater encounters:
Southern eagle ray (Rottnest Island & South Cottesloe)

They are large enough for me to take some good shots without having to go too near. And the way they glide through the water is simply beautiful.

Sea hare, net-patterned jellyfish, western striped trumpeters (South Cottesloe)

1. I haven't met anyone who says they don't like the dancing sea hare.
2. Pseudorhiza haeckeli (Net-patterned jellyfish) is simply beautiful.
3. When I bumped into that HUGE school of western-striped trumpeters, I really couldn't believe my eyes. I thought that's something you only see on TV, not in the two meters' deep water of South Cottesloe.

Octopus (North and South Cottesloe)

They are very special (to me) because I don't see them every time I snorkel.

Green turtle, reticulate whipray, red firefish, giant clam (Coral Bay)

All these animals are just beautiful!

What I have got out of all these:
  • New knowledge. I learnt that marine animals and plants are not something in the background underwater. It is actually their ocean - they live there, we don't. So we as visitors must treat them with respect and care.
  • I learnt that unlike a swimming pool, the beach and the underwater seascape never stay the same - they change throughout the year. Every time you hit the water, you are bound to see something new or different.
  • I started this little blog that introduces to my readers what I find in the Perth waters and in other places where I snorkeled. And through this blog, I made new friends.
  • I found that there are people who are as enthusiastic and curious about nature or even more so than I do.
  • I found that I enjoy hitting the water than visiting an aquarium, even though sometimes I don't see much because the fishes won't hang around in the same spots all year waiting for me.
  • A life outside my PhD.
Plans for future:
  • I must make more effort to find a snorkeling buddy so that I don't have to go alone too many times. I always hear that it is a buddy sport. And so far, it is only common sense and respect for the ocean that have ensured that I didn't get into any trouble.
  • I will try exploring other beaches around Perth, possibly around Fremantle.
  • I will have to get a new pair of fins - these old ones give me cramps 5 minutes after I hit the water. I think my feet have put on weight.


ria said...

Happy Anniversary :-)

I'm looking forward to many many more years of reading about your adventures!

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Ha ha. Thanks, Ria

Mosura said...

What a fantastic year you've had. I've certainly enjoyed following your blog.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks, Alan.
And I have enjoyed making new friends like yourself and Denis through this blog too.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
The "buddy" idea sounds very sensible, More fun, and safer too. I have the same issue with my solitary walks, looking for Orchids. Easy to slip on some simple and easy walk, but if I break a leg, ,,,, and then what?
Safety and fun sounds like a good idea.
Love reading your blog - as it is an entirely new world for me.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks Denis.

Well, in my case, when I go snorkeling, I usually go places that are not that touristy or busy. Sting rays, for example, won't hang around in places where they would get stepped on all the time.

It's been my pleasure to hang around with you and others online. And your kind words have given me motivation.

George said...

Hey Chai!

Yes, I remember that day at Penguin Is when you first tried snorkelling. Was quite funny but I actually thought it was my crappy snorkel that gave you trouble!

I'm really disappointed to hear that you got robbed. It's an awful lesson to learn.

Hope the thesis is going well. Will confirm crabbing plans with you over the next few weeks. I can lend you my crappy snorkelling gear for the time-being - let me know.

Steve Reynolds said...

Hi Chai
Thanks for the summary. Being realtively new to your blog, I didn't know about most (any) of those things. I hope that you are able to continue your underwater photography on snorkel. I trust that you will find a good buddy over there.
Cheers, Steve