Sunday, 4 December 2011

Day trip to Green Island

Ready for departure

Jim and I have had a lovely day out to Green Island.  This was a boat trip that took about 75 minutes, when the sky was overcast, and became clear blue sky as we got away from land.  Green Island is a tiny sandy outcrop between land and the Barrier Reef. 

On arriving at Green Island we went for a short walk, and read the notices that said you were not allowed to take away or touch any of the items on the beach.  This was a pity as I would have liked to sit and draw some of the natural debris on the island, but this would have meant moving it to a position where I could sit in the shade.  So I took photographs instead.  Like all good eco-tourists, we took only photographs and left only footprints.

Weathered sea urchin casing

Dead sea urchin starting to break up

Coconut with part of its husk still attached

We spent some time snorkelling (unsuccessfully).  I struggled with the mask filling up with water, which was very frustrating.  I wanted to look at all the fish and coral underwater, and the visual part of the experience was important to me.  I wanted to look in sufficient detail to be able to draw what I had seen afterward, but the leakage prevented this.  I think the problem was the way the snorkel fitted inside the mouth.  I could get the mask to seal when I put it on, but because the mouth grip was quite small, I had to use my lips to grip it.  And because I don't often use a snorkel, my lips would tire, and I would keep moving them.  This affected the seal of the mask around my top lip, and the mask would leak and fill up with water. I needed a snorkel that had a bigger fitting to go in front of the top and bottom teeth. After about half an hour I gave up. 

After lunch, Jim and I went on the glass bottomed boat  which was very interesting.  The fish obviously know there will be fish food supplied, and as soon as people start getting on, the fish congregate under the boat.  There were big round fish, the size of a dinner plate, and longer fish about 4 feet long.  Lots of smaller fish too.  We saw a turtle, and I wanted to draw him, but he was moving too fast.
Fish seen through glass bottomed boat

Fish under the water's surface

After this, we were tired, so sat on the boat, while Jim had a little snooze and I took my sketchbook out, and drew an osprey's nest.  Ospreys normally build a new nest every year, but this nest has been used for 4 consecutive years, with chicks surviving to adulthood each time. The nest has been built on the lookout post that supports one of the green lights for the harbour on Green Island.  Ospreys are protected birds, so cannot be disturbed.   The nest is very close to where the tourist boats moor, and where the fish are fed every day!  It must be like living near a take-away restaurant - plenty of fresh food on the doorstep, with the fish frequenting the surface of the water making selecting the next meal very easy!

Osprey nest at Green Island

No comments:

Post a Comment