aquaprofunda: An eye reflected twice in a cut mirror. (Default)
[personal profile] aquaprofunda
So, my friend Jonathan has been getting into microadventuring and inspiring me to try and do the same (albeit probably with a more urban slant!).

Today I went on a day trip to Rottnest Island in WA, which was glorious. We had an early start (early for being on holiday, anyway) and caught the ferry from Fremantle at 9.30. It was forecast for 35 degrees on the mainland, but was at least 5 degrees cooler than that on the island, and most amazingly there was pretty much no wind - just the occasional cool breeze. The water in the bay was perfectly still, but we headed around to The Basin where I’d read that the water was good for swimming and snorkeling.

It was gorgeous.

panorama

I’d borrowed a snorkel & mask from a friend I’m staying with, so stripped down to my swimmers and got right in. Once I’d figured out how to get the mask clean and not fogging, the view was amazing. I saw buffalo bream, scalyfins, moonlighters, banded sweeps, sea perch, western king wrasses, and more that I couldn’t find pictures on online :D it was lovely.

The rocks around the beach had what appeared to be at first glance trilobite fossils - but upon research seem to be chitons:

Chitons

Afterwards we did a wee bit of walking, seeing some of the island’s many tame quokkas on the way, also spotting a couple of big skinks and a heap of birds - Australian pied oystercatchers on the salt lakes, heaps of crows complaining their hearts out and the ubiquitous gulls.

In the afternoon we went on a guided walk about quokkas(!!). The most interesting fact gleaned from it? Quokkas gestate for only a short time before the little joey nugget is born and crawls into the pouch to finish growing, like all marsupials, but in addition to that - once the first nugget is born, the quokka mates again and the subsequent zygote just hangs around as back-up in case the joey in the pouch dies. If that happens, the zygote finishes gestating. Amaze!

Anyhoo, the quokkas were adorable, and about as tame as you’d expect for evolving on an island with no natural predators. Very interested as soon as you got on ground level - especially if you put down a bag, in which case they’d attempt to dig around in the bag for food. Adorable.

quokka

O hai. You have food yes?
quokka

While on the island I generally tried to focus on the natural history rather than the colonial one (which enrages me - privilege check that I can choose to “ignore” the parts of history I don’t like so I can enjoy myself more) but a few interesting stories came out of the quokka tour. For example, there were apparently a couple of French sailors who had a duel; one of them is buried in the European cemetery on the island.

I also had to take a photo of this - a mulberry tree planted in the 1930s by the boys of a reform school that was on the island at the time. It’s an amazing tree, and mind-boggling that it’s still alive:

”old

After the quokka walk we moseyed back to the beach and I went for another swim before we got back on the ferry. Some of the best parts were in the last leg, though - on the ferry ride back to Freo we saw not only a naval submarine but a pod of dolphins playing around in the Fremantle dock.

All in all, a successful microadventure! I can’t wait for more.
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aquaprofunda: An eye reflected twice in a cut mirror. (Default)
aquaprofunda

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