The blue sky reflects brilliantly off the clear bay water that flows over pristine white sands. I can’t help but wonder whether I have drifted into a holiday commercial or whether I am really here paddling my packraft in this place. A small pod of bottle-nosed dolphins plays nearby. One is quite white compared with these mammals’ usual dull grey colour. They twist and turn, their flippers leaving the water almost as though they are waving. It’s a captivating sight. As I continue southwards, large turtles dart away from me, often passing under my boat. These are not the mere pet store turtles that might fit in the palm of you hand. No, they are massive big creatures that would probably flip my raft if they came up beneath me. A few stingray flash through the water too; their flat bodies like underwater stealth bombers moving so quickly they are gone as soon as you see them.
I paddle with the incoming tide as far south as a large sandbar that is exposed by the tide. There’s something exciting about sitting on a sandbar watching the world go by. A few yachts are anchored on the other side of this tidal island but it is so large I can barely make out the people sitting under their beach umbrella. All I can hear is the sound of the small waves padding against the sand and the digging of the soldier crabs beneath me. Every so often a crab’s small head and pincers appear from in the sand, leaving the characteristic round balls of sand that betray the small purple soldier crabs’ presence.
The tide is coming in quickly now. It proves impossible for me to paddle directly into it because my boat is a raft not a kayak. I start to walk through the shallows, dragging my floating boat along next to me. It’s one of my favourite things to walk in clear ankle-deep water so I am a little pleased that the tide is too strong. On foot I notice different things, like the large bright orange starfish that dot the shallows and the tiny fish that make this place their home. On two occasions I have to cross deeper water at the entrance to some creeks but it proves quite simple as the tide is flowing into the creek and the raft handles the cross-current well. I am glad because swimming is not a very sensible option in this place, which is known for being popular with sharks.
After exploring for a few hours I return to camp to find a koala sitting in a tree near my tent. It’s the perfect way to end my little excursion before I return to completing a university assignment that is due this week.
Note: There is no blog post for day 2 because I went over to the mainland to do some chores and visit a friend.