Sunday, January 31, 2010

Return to Chowder Bay Jan 9th 2010

On Saturay January 9th, I returned to Chowder Bay for a quick snorkel with my work mate. Almost arriving at the parking lot, there was a sign which indicated that the car park was closed. Little did we know that it was full from all the buses that transported hundreds and hundreds of scouts from all over Australia. 

We parked some distance away and climbed down a hill and some stairs to get to the beach. We quickly saw that 20-30 kids were continuously jumping from the jetty which disturbed alot of the sand and most likely scared alot of the fish. So instead of snorkeling in the shark net enclosure, we decided to give the other side a go. Being a Saturday, several boats also moored near the beach which worried me as I have read somewhere that a snorkeler had been hit by a boat who had not seen them. However, the boats looked like they weren't going to leave any time soon.

The water this time was unexpectedly cloudy unlike the first time I had come for a snorkel. I would say that visibility was 2m. I also noticed that there were three scuba divers that were practicing by the beach. I believe it was an instrcutor with two students. I really want to start scuba diving..

The first sign of fish life were some whiting and also the leatherjacket shown below. I believe it was dumbfounded by the anchor and attracted to the shine as it just kept following the chain up and down. 


I see you! Octopus eyes

Closer towards the jetty steps, I saw a large plank of wood and decided to investigate and see what marine life it could bring me. When I got closer to the wood, I saw something looking at me. This was the first live octopus I have seen while snorkeling and through all the excitement, I only took one photo which was blurry as hell. It was a poor excuse of a pic. Anyhow, we decided to swim closer to the nets as I have read on that sea horses are aplenty here at Chowder Bay.

Sidewards seahorse

For some reason, I did not think I was going to see one that day but luckily for us, we managed to find one (above). Again, this was my first encounter with a live seahorse so I did not pay much attention to my camera and just gazed at it in awe. Apart from the staring eyes of the octopus, this was probably the highlight of the day. One thing I did find difficult was that the tide kept pushing me towards the nets. Had to fight against the tide.

Close to the nets was another leatherjacket that I took a picture of. I some times wonder if I could catch these fish with just a net? They seem so relaxed all the time.

 Leatherjacket just strolling along

Overall, the second trip to Chowder Bay was great in terms of sighting a live octopus and a sea horse. In terms of overall marine life and water visibility, I would not say it was great but ok. I think Chowder Bay is fantastic for families to have a picnic while including water sports as part of their activities. I know that I will definitely go back but maybe next time, I will bring some food and have a picnic while I am there. 


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