Snorkeling the reef
he main reason I went to Coral Bay was to view the coral reef. Unlike the Great Barrier reef on the east coast of Australia, the Ningaloo reef comes right in to the shore at Coral Bay. This means that the reef is much more accessible, you can walk off the shore and snorkel over coral and fishes in minutes.
I also believe that the reef is equally as good as the Barrier Reef, with a good variety of fish and corals. It is well maintained, and quite spectacular.
I also mentioned earlier that I do not believe that it is a good sailboarding spot. I have heard of people that have sailed and kitesurfed there, and lived to regret it. Possibly there are areas away from the main coral areas that could be good, however in lots of places you could really damage you board, feet and pride.
We did a glass bottom boat tour of some of the area. This is a must. The tour guides know a lot about the area, the best sites, and some of the fish by name. Our tour had three snorkeling stops over some of the best areas, and was very beneficial before doing your own snorkeling trips from the shore.
nother tour we did was a turtle tour with Pete the turtle man. Pete in concerned with keeping the turtle population going in the area. He points out that a large proportion of baby turtles don't make it from their nest to the ocean, in this area mainly due to foxes.
Pete scouts the beaches around the area looking for turtle nests. He logs where they are and reinforces the nests from foxes (via various means). He also knows when the nesting babies are due to leave the nest and make for the water. When the turtles are ready to migrate to the water, Pete helps their progress, and keeps the waiting predators away, while the turtles make their way on their perilous journey to the water.
Pete allows a small number of people to accompany him to the nest sites, and to see the migration of the turtles. The groups are arranged by a local tourist operator. The tour involves picking up three wheeled motor bikes (that have little or no impact on the beach or turtles) and doing a sunset drive to the current hatching spots, helping the turtles, watching the sunset and driving home.
On the evening we did it, it was a superb event. We helped 96 migrating baby turtles to the water, much to the ire of the local fox brigade. Pete does all this work for free, so a small donation is welcome, to pay for his expenses incurred in helping the turtles.
It appears that the 'Authorities' have put an end to helping baby turtles to the water. The explanation I have heard is that it is providing human intervention to the turtles struggle for survival.
The main thing that Pete achieved was to protect a small percentage of the baby turtles on their journey to the water from foxes, their main land predator, and help them over the large ruts left by four wheel drives, driving on the beach. If it weren't for these two problems the majority of baby turtles would make it to the water in this area.
As we all know, four wheel drives and foxes are native to the area!!!
The stupidity of the cretins that make these rules is mind blowing.
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