Body Boardin, Chillin and the Most Amazing Snorkel

Trip Start Jan 20, 2007
1
6
45
Trip End May 06, 2007


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What I did
Julian Rocks

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, February 1, 2007

Arrived via our bus at Byron Bay, which turned out to be one of my favourite places in Australia (and thats a very tough decision!) Theres a really gorgeous lovely beach, never too crowded, and the crystal blue warm waters with awesome playtime waves. Lovely shops and bars too and a general good feeling about the place. Our hostel was great aswell as it was sort of more apartmenty with our own kitchens and lounges to keep up with the Neighbours episodes! We did have a bit of an ant infestation but successfully tackled it with the kettle.

We spent most of the time here chilling out, enjoying being here but also purchased a cheap foam bodyboard to muck about in the waves with and managed to ride in a few tandem style! Had a few big social BBQs at our hostel accompanied with plenty of card games and the like.

But the best bit was a snorkelling trip to Julian Rocks just off the coast. We woke up at 6am for a cool speedboat ride out, strapped on a mask and snorkel and dived right in. AMAZING! Felt like I was in a magical underwater world! Tons of different coral (very fascinating) and loadsa fish all lovely colours and shapes of all sorts of varieties (one was plain weird- had lotsa puffy spikes on it. Like the big bad boy of the underwater world upsetting all the glamorous pretty fish)

Anyway, also saw TURTLES! They were green turtles apparently and sooooo cute! I got to like 10cm away from one and it was so enchanting. He (or she, who knows?!) let me swim right next to him (OK I've got with male) and it was absolutely incredible. They just kinda hang in the water and ride the swell (kinda like in Finding Nemo- see? great film and informative!) and then he kept poking his cute little head out of the water for air and it was brilliant!! I loved it and was with him for what felt like ages, just hanging out together. Definitely made a friend. I called him Squirtle. Seriously though it was the most amazing magical experience. I'm sure there was a connection, like in Free Willy. But then some divers came over and he swam off. I was pretty heartbroken.

But then snorkelled away a bit deeper n saw a shark. Uh huh. There were 2 of them. Leopard Sharks I'm told, due to the beautiful markings on their backs. As soon as I saw one I actually paddled closer to it for a better look (the turtle encounter had clearly filled me with a being-at-one-with-the-sea-ness in which I was Dr Dolittle to the sea creatures) They were so graceful and I followed them round for a bit (not in a harassy way) and I'd say they were probably about 2m long. Really mesmorising and one of them had a little sucky fish on its back.

Then we had to make our way back to the boat so as I was swimming back I felt a little sting on my leg. Ow. So I looked round but couldnt see anything. Carried on swimming along and felt another sting. What?! Then as I continued to swim with my mask on I realised that when I looked closer around me I was swimming through bloody jellyfish! They slowly sort of came into focus and like 'argh!' millions of them all really tiny (I later discovered called bluebottles) Hadta swim through them to get to the boat which was quite a frantic panicky swim but they were harmless enough and didnt really hurt more than a little pin prick. Strange though, like a jellyfish invasion.

All in all a wicked snorkelling trip!
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