Never one to back away from new experiences and keeping with the theme of confronting one's fears I've included secluded bays that aren't really Ocean Beaches, more like protective, largish Ocean Baths. Except the fish can come and go.
My darling friend Louise introduced me to the delights and wonders of snorkelling. It started at Freshwater Ocean Baths where to be honest the baths were not up to my standard of natural rock baths.
Freshwater has an Ocean Beach with surf and stuff but on the north side next to the baths there are rocks and sandbars and protection from the surf.
We went out together with just goggles and it was so tempting and enjoyable that when next we met at Little Bay, Louise came equipped with snorkel for her and snorkel for me.
I was in the water for over three (3) hours. Exhilarated, exhausted and sunburnt on the backs of the legs. Regrets? Absolutely none. I'll blog about the Little Bay experience separately – it deserves it.
Gordon's Bay is on the northern side of Coogee Beach and the southern side of Clovelly Beach. I used to live just around the corner in Arcadia Street, Coogee when I first came to Australia from Canada and we used to walk up and down the coast. I remember Gordon's Bay from those years as a protected beach with little to no waves and safe for kids. With a lot of action from snorkellers and scuba aficionados alike.
Today Gordon's Bay was packed with sunbathers, snorkellers, scuba divers, swimmers, surf paddlers and general layabouts. It was a Sunday and supposedly the start of Autumn. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that news. The sun was shining, it was 30 degrees with a few cirrus, horsetail clouds in the sky for effect. Perfect, perfect day.
The water was a little murky close to shore, lots of sand, seaweed and dirt. It took a little swimming close to the rock shelf before things started happening. Gordon's Bay is surrounded by natural sandstone rocks tumbled haphazardly all around the bay. These rocks and the seaweeds growing upon them provide lots of little hidey holes for a vast assortment of sea creatures.
Then there is the legendary blue groper of Gordon's Bay; Bluey or the Elvis of Gordon's Bay. Due to the infrequency of sighting Bluey. Well, I think I saw him. He was huge. But there were a few other gropers around.
In fact, there were LOTS of fish around. At one point I was swimming along minding my own business and happened to look up and there was a school of garfish swimming around me. I do mean thousands of garfish just going around and around. Maybe they were herding me.
I saw a school of squid once again doing that synchronised swimming all the while staring at you with the one beady squid eye all while doing busby berkley aquatic dance moves in the sea. Freaky but oh-so-watchable. I want to laugh everytime I think of them.
I saw lots of different, colourful fish and swam all over the bay with its' caverns and gardens under the sea. I could stay there forever it's just fascinating.
Bring on more snorkelling I say. You can see what's going to happen can't you? Snorkel to scuba is just a step away, just a step away.