Sunday 8 March 2015

St Helena Island Dugong Encounter

I took off early for a solo paddle out to St Helena Island with a view to capturing some images in the morning light before catching up with some fellow paddlers out on Green Island for our yearly "Green needs a clean" day out.

It was an uneventful paddle over and the sun was moving quicker than I was so I shot a few images on the north side of the island before heading off towards the prisoner cemetery.

I noticed a "rock" in an unusual place as I was walking past the picnic area.  After further investigation, the rock turned out to be the back of a dugong browsing along the foreshore.  I got some shots of him from shore doing some crocodile impersonations.

By this time I was running a little late so ignored the myriad of birds on the south side of the island including the Rainbow Bee-eater colony and took some quick shots of the cemetery and the lime kiln before jumping in the kayak and heading off to Green Island to lend a hand in the clean up.

Dugongs in Moreton Bay are usually very shy, and though we see them on the water, we rarely capture images of them apart from a splash and resultant swirl of water as they dive away to hide from prying eyes.  This dugong came to check me out as soon as I launched the kayak and was happy to continue swimming around the kayak allowing me to get some images as well as some hand held video.

So guys, the dugong was my excuse for being late to the clean up!

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