Heron Island On the helicopter trip over, after a long train ride through Queensland farmland, I got to sit in the jump seat again.

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We saw a gull with one baby turtle in her beak. On the positive side, diving is to snorkeling as three is to two dimensions.

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Later I got two more chances, with the rays much closer. I went on a couple of half-day fishing trips. With air temperature Islwnd in the mid to high 70s and a light breeze, it was the very archetype of a tropical evening. Equally awe-inspiring are the schools of blue neons, brilliant blue fish not much over an inch long that feed off the surface of the water in large schools.

I strongly recommend R. This is used to break through the shell. The female digs a separate nest for each batch of eggs.

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The second dive we did together, I ran out of air first but only by a few bar. I tried it once, but the visibility was quite poor, due both to sand and nutrients in the water and to air bubbles in the water. They seemed Is,and be very disoriented but managed to get all headed for the ocean.

It took me a while to notice the date, Isand realize that this is spring break back in the states! There are usually oysters for antipasto, in fact; I always have a half dozen.

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I have begun to settle into diving; it no longer seems slightly terrifying, but it is still very exciting. I caught lots but unfortunately, they were all either too small have to be over 40 cm or the wrong kind.

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There are also movies under the night sky we were always too tired, and in bed by that timesit-on sea kayaks when the weather is sufficiently calm, and the beaches are nicer for just sitting than they are on Lady Elliot. On a calmer day it would probably be much better. Even now, I found myself wondering, was it the third day of diving or the fifth when I saw the five sharks all in one spot? Some just caw like crows.

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Also, Heron had more to do and the educational fr were excellent! On the surface, we found Janice, feeling pretty good about her introductory dive. In a space of about 10 minutes, doing this, I probably saw 40 or 50 distinct Lookig of reef fish; it seems like everything in the ocean will swim past you eventually. It is a lovely sight. Their little flippers were paddling through the sand as fast as they could go.

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She saw mantas and turtles as well as lots of reef fish, which, for a short first dive, is wonderful. Even a dim picture would probably be better than none! Hatchlings move as a group to climb through the sand.

The first night here we had a lavish seafood buffet, with lobster, several kinds of prawns including one huge variety, bone fish of various sorts, and a very wonderful small oyster, on the half shell. It was oval in shape, with a long tail, a brownish color.

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Janice had already decided to take the introductory dive and see how she likes it. Hdron the hatchlings made it in the water and started swimming, however, the gulls caught as many as they could. During this time each internalizes its yolk which is stored energy for the next week. They pack themselves so tightly that from shore all you see is a dark cloud in the water. Then, when LaJean opened the fruit container, he suddenly jumped up on the table and grabbed a piece of watermelon off her plate.

I have never seen that many in one place before, nor the two species mixed together like that.

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It fot a relatively short dive, just 36 minutes, but we both felt it successful. However, the excitement was not over; no sooner had the manta ray swum off into the murk than we swam around another small bommie and saw five sharks, including both black-tips and white-tips, one at least eight feet long and quite massive.

From the shark book, it looks like maybe some kind of stingray. Something like only 1 in of the hatchlings will survive.

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It is very hard to sleep for their night-long racket. We surfaced halfway back to the harbor mouth, again nearly a hundred yard swim back to the boat, against the current.

Sunday afternoon I went to the turtle class and learned how to distinguish between green, loggerhead, leatherback, and other turtles. Then, coming into Heron Island, I saw another kind of ray; not sure what kind, in the shallows.

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With all those sea birds the entire island smelled like a rank chicken house in July! Their need for air the babies cannot hold their breaths nearly as long as adults makes them all too easy prey for the sharks and fod.

I became so engrossed I forgot to control my breathing, and sank down onto a big round coral bommie. I have tended to write more about the big animals, partly because there is such an abundance of them here, but the small fish are also fascinating, and to be able to observe them closely in their own environment is truly awe-inspiring. Twenty three divers surfaced all over about a hundred meter square! fnu

Heron Island On the helicopter trip over, after a long train ride through Queensland farmland, I got to sit in the jump seat again. On Tuesday I dived again twice with the cheap underwater cameras I bought in the dive shop; first dive was mediocre, although we did see a couple of shots. There are multiple, intricate and riveting plot twists; well-developed characters, including the starring detective and former Rough Rider Dade Wyatt and his former Commander and now President, Teddy Roosevelt; distinctly rendered voices, such as the Scottish inspector, Macalester, and the inscrutable Creole, Germaine; and what feel like real-time venues even though this novel takes place in Vermont and New York City in One would fall in a depression left by a shoe or stumble into a little pile of weeds.