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Posts Tagged ‘margaret river’

_EBT8723As humans we like to think we’re pretty clever, after all we build things, we invent things, we control the environment around us, we are masters of all we survey.  So why is it that we are so awed when a wild thing accepts us into its domain without reservation?  It’s irrelevant what the animal is, a whale, a dolphin, a lion, a sea-lion it makes not a dot of difference, our superior bearing and arrogance evaporates and we are left in child like wonder and infatuation.

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We have just spent the better part of the last week at Hamelin Bay in the Margaret River region of southwest WA.  A stunning area in its own right but even more notable for its resident population of large bull rays and eagle rays that frequent its shoreline.

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Time and time again we saw the awe and delight that these friendly goliaths of the deep instilled in those who came to see them.  As they glided gently past, completely unfazed or perturbed by the attention, faces, both young and old alike,  lit up with each close encounter.

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Spent a pleasant couple of hours exploring the Busselton Jetty underwater observatory down near Margaret River in SW Western Australia.  It was hard to tell who was watching who a lot of the time

 

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_IBT3409The large black wing of the stingray gentle brushed against my leg as it passed. At first I thought it was indifference, that it just couldn’t be bothered going around me, but then it brushed me again on its next pass. All doubt was removed when a short time later another ray drifted up against my leg and momentarily settled on my foot.

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We were standing knee deep in the clear waters of Hamlin Bay, about 30klms south of Margaret River in the South West of WA. To our right the wide sweep of white sand, named after the French explorer Jacques Hamelin, curved around the bay where it morphed into a rugged headland far in the distance, in front of us stood the last few remaining timber pylons of the old jetty and unseen further out in the bay lay numerous shipwrecks, testament to the bays notorious weather. But what we had come to see was right at our feet, literally.

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Over the years the stingrays of Hamlin Bay have become a popular tourist attraction as they frequented the beach to the delight of locals and tourist alike. Several years ago we had come to see them but the weather conspired against us. But not today, today they were here in abundance.

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As we stood and watched them glide through the clear shallow water it became obvious that they were just as curious about us and we them. They slid effortlessly between the legs of the spectators, frequently bestowing a brief caress as they passed. At other times they would ride a wave up onto the beach as if to get a better look and then catch the next one back out again. They had kilometres of beach available to them yet they were content to cruise the 50 metres or so of the ‘tourist’ strip in front of the old jetty.

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There is always something special about seeing animals in the wild, but so often you are merely tolerated, an observer. But to have a wild thing accept you and voluntarily interact with you with no fear or malice and no expectation of reward, that to me that is the most magical of experiences.

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