|May 2004. Amsterdam. |
Marley, center wearing the black shirt, and Joe, in the striped shirt, are the guys we were visiting!
|A store in the Townsville CBD. To be "off your tree" means you are crazy.|
|Joe waiting to pick up the next crab pot|
|Erik getting in on the action|
|Marley baiting up a crab pot|
|Can't remember which cape this is! Note the white dots...those are our crab pots!|
|Measuring the mud crab to see if it is a keeper|
|Erik got pretty good at holding these guys!|
|This one looks big enough to keep. They have to be 15cm across and you can only keep males.|
|A female sand crab. These are protected, so she went back in the water.|
|This pelican came to visit while Marley was fishing for prawns.|
|Docked on the beach|
|Our view for the feed|
|After 20 minutes in a boiling pot, our crabs were ready to eat!|
|The best part, the "nippers"|
|Out of the water just as the sun was setting|
In the morning we headed down the road about 15 minutes to Alva Beach, where we would check in at Yongala Dive to spend the day scuba diving! Last January when I went diving on the Great Barrier Reef with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, our guide mentioned that her favorite dive site she had ever been to was the SS Yongala shipwreck. The ship sunk in 1911 on the way from Melbourne to Cairns, but the wreck was not discovered until 1958. It has become one of the most popular shipwreck dive sites in the world, and it is known for an abundance of fish and sharks. We did not get a glimpse of any sharks on the day, but we saw TONS of fish, small and large, along with turtles, sea snakes, an eel, and two different types of rays. There are some really BIG fish at the site, grouper and maori wrasse, and also huge schools of barracuda. We saw typical fish similar to those we had seen at other dive sites, but the fish were much larger! We used our GoPro, but we don't have the special case for underwater shooting so unfortunately the footage is not great. The visions are still fresh in my memory, however, and for me the dive quickly became my favorite site of the 10 or so dives I have completed. I highly recommend diving the site with Yongala Dive. Normally you need advanced diver certification to dive below 18 meters, but at this site you can pay a little extra money for "deep dive training" (which only includes a skill or two once you enter the water on the first of two dives), which allows you to dive to 30 meters. Here is a YouTube video that helps give you an idea of what we saw down there!
One we hit the surface, we saw humpback whales playing near the boat. According to our skipper, it was a mom and a calf, probably 2-3 days old. We also saw another whale on the way back to shore, as it is migratory and calving season for the whales. Those sightings just topped off an awesome day of diving!
|The tides are crazy, so we ended up having to make a few trips back to the boat to carry things to shore.|
|One of several cane fires we saw that evening|