WEDNESDAY 25 OCTOBER EXMOUTH TO CORAL BAY 180kms
Our pack up and departure was quite routine.
We stopped in Exmouth to refuel – $1.22cpl.
Bought some oddments at the shops, including a paper.
On the way south, could not resist the temptation to stop again at the Kailis prawn factory, where we bought a kilo of reef fish and a batch of prawns – all frozen. I left the prawns out to defrost for tea, but quickly repackaged the reef fish into three lots for the freezer.
Kailis operate their own fishing boats in these waters, so the chance to buy from here was not to be missed.
After that, it was an uneventful trip to Coral Bay – but rather uninteresting. There were some wildflowers in places, but other areas that looked severely over grazed.
We went to the Bayview Caravan Park in Coral Bay. This was not the one we’d stayed at in ’93, which was higher up the hill.
We initially booked in for three days only, but they said we could convert it to a weekly rate later, if we decided to stay on. This we eventually did, so the cost per night became $16.
We had a pleasant site, with a cement slab, which was good here because it reduced the amount of gritty sand getting tracked into the van.
The park was fairly empty at this time of year. It was a pleasant park, with shade trees and even grass around – something that is hard to grow in these parts where water supply is an issue.
Set up, had lunch, then took our snorkelling gear and walked basically just across the road to the beach, and went snorkelling.
The coral comes really close to the shore here. it is possible to enter the water and drift with the current, looking down on the corals and fish. The water was warm. The corals were varied and so pretty, big rounded ones, branching ones, some like big leaves, lichen like ones. Lilac and bright yellow were notable colours.
There was a real assortment of fish, some with bright tropical colours. Snapper and dart came in round our feet whilst we were standing in the sand, attracted by us stirring it up. Little black and silver striped fish acted like our escorts, staying close all the time.
Near where we were snorkelling was the mooring area for boats, where the gently rounded point of the bay curves around. A couple of these were day trip tour vessels. In ’93 we’d done an outing on a glass bottomed boat here, and seen the corals and teeming fish that way. The operator fed the fish, so there were lots of large snapper came round the boat. Again it is a no fish area, which helps to explain the multitudes of fish we met today.
After an hour or so in the water, we came out and walked back to the van.
After a shower, I peeled the prawns for tea – nice big ones! We had them on shredded lettuce with a seafood sauce. Yummy.