Thursday 22 August 2013

Unexpected Company

Sea Kayaking in remote locations in Australia, generally means you will be interacting closely with the local wildlife.  On the ocean, we are an oddity and many sea creatures are inquisitive which leads to some amazing experiences.  In the ocean is no different - I'll share a couple of stories of encounters with the larger pointy teeth variety.

We were off for a snorkel in some deeper water to look for some Manta Rays that frequent the area and the photo below captures one of two Grey Whalers that came over and started circling near us when we scared some fish off a bommie (coral outcrop)  in about 25 metres of water - southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.  They came up to investigate and moved on after a closer look or maybe that was because I stuck my camera in its face?  This was a beautiful stream-lined shark - built for speed.

I had been snorkeling along the reef edge in a lagoon on a remote coral atoll and had just seen the grand-daddy of Gropers in a huge sea cave. I dived down and was holding onto the reef trying to get a shot of him when I got the feeling I wasn't alone.  The lagoon keeper (pet name for the Tawny Nurse below) had come over to investigate what I was doing - sufficient to say I missed getting the shot of the groper I was looking for.

This shark was like a Labrador (i.e. fat dog that wants to be friendly - always in your face). I wasn't that familiar with sharks and their behaviour and this one wouldn't leave us alone - I think it was lonely but it could easily have been telling us to keep out. I was a bit nervous of an overly friendly shark in a remote location over 80kms off the coast.

For the main part, most of the sharks we come across on the reefs are black or white tipped reef sharks.  They generally keep out of your way, though we fed one once and it must of told its mates as every time we went in the water, they came from everywhere like a pack of hungry dogs! Note to self - don't feed fish frames to the sharks.

So sharks are okay, though they sometimes will come and give your rudder a nudge if it is making like a wounded fish and occasionally they might nibble on your paddle blade to keep you on your toes.

No comments:

Post a Comment