Bear in mind, July in Tasmania is the height of winter and even with the full-on windsuit we all donned, it was still bitterly cold. In fact, I would venture to say those were the coldest three hours of my life. The Arctic (in summer) has got nothing on Tasmania (in winter).
I mean, I guess it comes as no surprise, as we were a “mere” 1,800 miles from Antarctica. Tasmania is the point of no return: the last stopover before sailing into the open Southern Sea.
A big purpose of this excursion is to observe the kelp beds and various dramatic rock formations that form the island’s western coast. We spotted handfuls of abalone just hanging out on the rocks, which is something I’d never seen before. (And yes, I briefly considered an export company, as those puppies are worth mad cash in the USofA.)
And all its wildlife, too: The seals (and sea lions) were many.
Of course, you know what kelp + seals means…my greatest foe: the great white shark.
In fact, we were told that the sharks liked to hang around these exact access points, where the seals would dive into the water to fish by the dozens (safety in numbers…these seals ain’t no dummies).
Grrrrreat. It’s a good thing they waited to tell me once we were on the boat that the group who went out the week prior had come face-to-face with the ocean’s greatest predator. Otherwise, I might have bowed out of the trip.
Though at this point, I was almost ready to see a great white, in open water, from the safety of the boat. It’s sort of the same effect of why one goes to the theater see a horror movie—only better than in 3-D.
But there were no sharks in our cards that day, just miles and miles of captivating coastal beauty.
And a cute little lighthouse perched atop Bruny, watching over everyone (for sharks, I could only assume) from high above the tide.
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