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    The mission to meet the Great White Sharks of Neptune Island – Day 5 & 6

    July 25, 2011 3 min read

    Day 5 & 6 - Angry winds, Grumpy oceans and one very pretty jetty

    Map to Port Lincoln

    Seanna and Kieren again started their day before the Sun came up to get early morning scenery shots around Port Lincoln, while Mel and I kicked it in bed for a little longer. By the time they returned we had everything ready to be packed into the car, which - by this stage - we were basically professionals at.

    We had been hearing bad weather reports for majority of the week, and the first spout of bad news came from John Natoli (friend and fellow Rodney Fox go-er) when he called to say that a 6m swell is heading our way and that if it did infact hit we would not be going to Neptune Islands that night with the Rodney Fox crew.

    We decided to remain optimistic and made our way to the highest point of Port Lincoln to a look-out. While asking for directions a local ended his sentence with “... you’ll be blown away”. I figured he meant blown-away with the breathtaking views, I figured wrong. The wind was so strong that it took our body weight to close the car door and each step required full force.

    The second spout of bad news came when Mel told us her door had actually blown backwards and broken the hinge. Bloody wind.

    After finishing up all the filming we needed around Port Lincoln we took the covered-in-dirt-sand-rocks-mud-salt-and-broken-door HIRE car for a much needed wash.

    Seanna unfortunately wasn’t joining us on the Great White Shark leg of the journey so she dropped us off at the Port Lincoln Marina at 4:00pm and began her voyage back to Adelaide airport.

    Sitting at the Marina hotel, it was pouring down rain, windy and the seas looked mighty angry, that’s when the third dose of bad news became evident. The 6m smell and severe weather warnings were spot on and my “im going to be diving with great white sharks tomorrow” mindset was shattered.

    John Natoli called from Gold Coast Airport to tell us that Andrew Fox and crew would be meeting everyone at the hotel at 7:00pm to discuss alternative ‘options’. Once all 12 travellers had arrived Andrew told us that the seas were too big to battle and that we would spend the night on-board their boat ‘The Princess II’ docked at the Marina and would make a very early morning start to Tumby Bay to dive with Leafy Sea Dragons while we waited out the angry seas.

    The engines on the Princess II roared at around 5:00am and we made our way to Tumby Bay.

    We all geared up and jumped into the cool 13 degree waters and went on a hunt for Leafy Sea Dragons. The Tumby Bay jetty was built in 1908 and has a maximum depth of around 10 metres. Similar to the Cuttlefish I was astounded by the beauty of the scenery. The bottom was covered in immaculate seagrass and weeds on a sandy base and the pylons thrived with colourful sponges. What took my eye the most was the incredible conifor-like sea grasses that rose 1 - 2m from the seabed. It all meshed together to make one hell of an underwater habitat.

    Sarah Shark Great White Shark Trip

    We found one small juvenile Leafy Sea Dragon swimming about 3m down one of the pillars amongst the sponges. They are an unbelievable animal, especially when you get to see them up close!

    Sarah Shark Great White Shark Trip

    That evening we all relaxed back on board for Dinner while Captain Pete made way for Thistle Island - where we would wait out the night and the swell before making way to Neptune Islands!

    Tomorrows blog will be all about the Whites!

    Always, Sarah Shark www.sarahshark.com

    Christine Hamilton - www.yambabeach.net.au