DAY 194: Diving in a kelp forest

13 Mar

IT strikes me, as I flounder through spectacular underwater kelp forests in a blind panic, that most of my activities with the bush pirate involve classic ways for the English to meet their demise.

You’ve read all those stories in the newspapers: an English falls off a sheer cliff-face (perhaps after being told to harvest hard-to-reach ferns); an English loses balance on rocks and is swept out to sea (after it is suggested a swim in a wave-lashed lagoon at high tide might be in order); an English drives a quad bike down a mountain and is lost… I’d not be surprised if a future idea involves hitch-hiking through Belanglo State Forest.

The English, I’m convinced, are not designed to put their heads underwater – yet here I am, tootling in fear up my snorkel. As ever with this year’s missions, though, the mathematics astound me: I go in 100 per cent sure this is a wearying, unpleasant idea – considerably further down the good ideas queue than ‘having a latte’ – and come out feeling 100 per cent more WAHOO!

Mystical hermit or grizzled surf dude? It’s up to you.

The lagoon at Castle Cove is cloudy today, but we spot rockfish, a stingray and abalone. The kelp usually rises up in columns so that you can swim among them as though you’re in a forest, but today they’re shimmying around the seabed, revealing bits here and there like saucy fan dancers. In the cliff walls, sea wrens are nesting, and apparently there are some sea hawks bandying about too, but I’m too busy trying not to get sucked out to sea.

Keeper? Will practise holding my breath – the three-second limit is hampering my experience.

Found this disturbing pic. It's like stingray porn. But for humans, not stingrays.

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