Friday, August 2, 2013

Lady Musgrave Island

All the coral here is beautiful.
On our recent holiday, we took a day cruise to Lady Musgrave Island. We were warned, people get really sick on the way out. So I insisted that the children could only have a piece of toast for breakfast (knowing full well that this would not fill their tummies), I also insisted that everyone except Joybug had to take a ginger tablet to help with possible seasickness well before we went.

Our three happy snorkelers.
Pretty purple brain coral in the centre,
next to golden plate coral.
In his journal, The Man described the journey as "up and down, up and down". Truly, it was the sort of down like you get when you go fast over certain dips in the road, where your tummy jumps, except this was every ten seconds or so. One of the crew commented to me how still the sea was today, particularly compared to the last few weeks. It was fun at first, but within 20 minutes I was NOT enjoying it. So I focused on the horizon, and on breathing deeply, all while trying to help Tiger, Princess and Joybug who were struggling too. I stood to try and get water for Joybug and could barely find my feet! The crew suggested those who felt ill should try the back of the boat, but when I tried that all I could smell was the diesel, and that made me feel worse! I barely downed another ginger tablet, and Christian noticed I wasn't coping. He came and worked on pressure points in my wrists and immediately I felt significantly better. I kept working these for the rest of the trip and managed to keep it at just nausea (no vomiting).

Christian however didn't fair so well. We had half an hour to go in our hour and a half journey, when he couldn't hold it in any more. Poor man! I had no idea how I would handle it if one of the kids got sick too. I was regularly checking on them, even though turning my head made me feel sick all over. One of the two things I don't do well as a parent (or teacher) is vomit! As soon as we were 10 minutes from the pontoon we were all feeling fine, and ready to start the morning tea that had just been put out, although Christian was not so sure.

The water was five to ten metres deep, but we felt safe.
The purple coral here is plate coral.
On arrival at the island we all (right down to Joybug) donned wetsuits. Then all of us got into the water, but Joybug and Tank were too nervous to get off the ledge. It was AMAZING! The children were so amazed by everything they saw. Tiger was off naming the fish and creatures he saw. He recognised the sea cucumber, parrot fish and numerous other fish. I didn't know he knew so much! Princess and The Man kept trying to talk excitedly through their snorkel. The water was deep, but extraordinarily clear. The colours of the fish were incredible. Our camera is one we can use underwater and we all enjoyed taking these pictures. The children were disappointed when we had to stop for lunch.

Professional photographer who also was crook on the boat.
The floating white things is the coral's sunscreen from when
it was out of the water during low tide.
After lunch we went on a glass bottom boat and spied lots of different things, including big sea turtles. The boat then dropped us off on Lady Musgrave Island, where we had a bush walk. It's an amazing island made from coral. Walking through the bush growing there was incredible. We would love to go back there to camp and have the island all to ourselves!

We managed a bit more snorkeling before we headed back to the mainland. The return trip was wonderfully enjoyable for everyone. We were even able to enjoy the whales frolicking as we passed them by (couldn't look on the way to the island).

We topped the day off with quick baths and dinner in an Indian restaurant in a setting that reminded me and Christian of a restaurant we went to on our honeymoon in Vanuatu. Truly delightful!!
Pretty blue fish with staghorn coral.

The pink coral is finger and the long
golden coral is staghorn.

Snorkeling don't see that every day!
The golden coral is plate coral 
In the bush on the island.
Our family on Lady Musgrave Island.
Story by SJ. Captions by Tiger
The black lines are sausage sea cucumbers,
they are the vacuum cleaners of the seas. 

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