Sailing on Shark Bay
A recommended must do while visiting Shark Bay besides seeing the dolphins at Monkey Mia is to take a cruise across Shark Bay on one of the sailboats operating out of Monkey Mia. We signed up to take a cruise on the sail boat named the Shotover:
The Shotover has different cruises ranging from one hour to all day cruises. We decided to take a half day cruise. Neither of us have ever been on a large sailboat like this before so we were looking forward to getting started. What was cool about this cruise was that the sailing team let me take part in sailing the boat. I got to help with putting up the sail and redirecting it during the trip which was fun:
The weather was beautiful as usual at Shark Bay with bright blue skies, a few clouds, aquamarine blue water, and a colorful coastline. Here is a view of Monkey Mia from the Shotover:
Here is a view of the red cliffs and white sands of the Francois Peron Peninsula:
We were a little concerned about sea sickness during this trip but the crew guarantees you will not get seasick or they will give you your money back. They told me that only one person a year gets sick on the boat. The design of the boat means that the boat does not sway to much in the waves thus meaning that very few people get sea sick on this style of sailboat. I have to agree because we both felt fine the entire time on the boat.
Searching for Dugongs
The big attraction on these sailing tours is to see the wildlife that lives in the waters of Shark Bay. We were not dissapointed because we saw plenty of wildlife. We saw of course dolphins as well as sea turtles. What people most wanted to see was a dugong. A dugong is what is otherwise known as a seacow. The salty waters of Shark Bay creates favorable conditions for the growth of seaweed that the dugongs love to eat. Shark Bay has the world’s largest concentration of this type of seaweed thus supporting the world’s largest population of dugongs. The dugongs are very shy and spend most of their time under water eating seaweed. During this trip we were very lucky to see multiple dugong including one that had a baby tagging along. However, something I soon found out was that ocean photography is very difficult because of the swaying and turning of the boat. As soon as you get you camera ready to take a shot either the boat turns or a wave causes you to miss the shot.
Thus here was my best picture of a dugong; you have to look closely to see it:
I may not have gotten any great pictures of the wildlife of Shark Bay, but the trip was worth every cent we paid. We would do it again if we ever go back to Shark Bay. One word of advice though for any would be sailors; make sure you bring a hat that can stay on your head while sailing. Stupid me wore a ball cap that could not stay on in the wind and thus the top of my head got sunburned pretty bad.
The Beaches of Monkey Mia
Once we got back to the dock we got to relax and enjoy the beach for a while:
As you can see the beaches of Shark Bay are stunning, however be careful of the critters that lurk in the sands:
Many of these little craps hang out around the beaches of Shark Bay thus make sure you don’t end up stepping on one. Also the dolphins would randomly pop up in the shallow waters to see what the beach goers were up to. Keep in mind you cannot touch the dolphins even if they do come up to you. It is to protect the dolphins from germs from humans.
Overall, Monkey Mia is definitely a great place to lounge around the beach and enjoy the sun and setting if that is the type of vacation you are after.
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