Sometimes a simple weekend away turns out to be absolutely perfect. We recently spent three days at Wilsons Promontory, inside Refuge Cove. The weather was brilliant. We sailed slowly from Port Albert on the Friday morning and briskly back on the Sunday afternoon. For three days we chose to stay put, having spider webbed ourselves into a wee nook at the northern end of this iconic spot, but it was not without excitement! We don’t normally like to stay at Refuge Cove, as it is often crowded and the holding is ordinary. But hidden in our little bay, we were well sheltered and had this tiny spot to ourselves, well away from other boats. The water was not too cold. We snorkeled, went for a walk on the beach, read on board, and simply relaxed and enjoyed our surroundings.
The excitement came when we noticed a few little jellyfish gently floating around the boat. Unperturbed by the tentacles, we had to get close to them and photograph them. From the boat they looked like little black pincushions about 4 or 5 cm in diameter, but when you got close, they were actually spotted red over a pinkish white gelatinous body and tentacles. Some had long extending tentacles, others only had short ones on the margins of the umbrella, and ribbon like ones from the center. They probably would have stung us if we let them touch us, but we did not, although at times there were funny contortions and splashing happening to move away from them. For three days, we were in and out of the water, sharing our nook with these enchanting creatures and marveled at our photos afterward. We later found out they are a not often seen species: the Chrysaora wurlerra, and so we recorded our sighting with the Atlas of Living Australia, an online resource which provides information on species and biodiversity.
Snorkeling in temperate waters is beautiful. The water is greener than in the tropics; kelp, seagrass and seaweed replace corals, and although fish are less colourful, they are still plentiful. The hidden beauty of what is under the surface continues to fascinate us.
Here are a few photos. There were lots of particles floating in the water, which accounts for some of the speckled images, but as Wade says, “Don’t worry about it, that is the way it was, it’s like complaining about seeing green grass where cows are grazing!” He has a point!