Thursday, 6 December 2012

Drive Brilliant Hyundai Road Trip Leg Six - Narooma to Gipsy Point

Our day started in Narooma where we were to take an early morning charter tour to Montague Island and go snorkeling with the fur seals that have colonies on the Island.  So up bright and early ready for our trip - excitement plus, the four of us had never been snorkeling with fur seals so this was a major adventure.

Okay so a glitch.  We received a call to say that the charter we where to go on had maintenance issues and would not be doing the tour on that day.  Glum faces all around as we had already had the surf lessons at Lakes Entrance and the scenic flight at Merimbula cancelled due to the weather.

Another phone call and we were smiling again, another charter who usually only does ocean fishing tours agreed to take a small group out to Montague Island and let us go snorkeling with the fur seals.  Our Charter was called the Playstation and we were to catch it at 2.30 in the afternoon from the Narooma Wharf.  Our skipper was a lovely man named Ben.

As Ben does not usually do the snorkeling tours we had to hire wet suits, snorkels and goggles.  The information centre in Narooma were incredibly helpful and organised for us to hire the equipment. The equipment was hired from the Ocean Hut Fishing and Dive - Compleat Angler in Narooma.  We were looked after by Dazza in the shop who was most helpful and had a good laugh at the four of us trying to get into wet suits.  I must admit that we all had a good laugh, putting our feet in plastic bags to help get the wet suits over our feet, having to try on different sizes and jumping around like crazy people.  The snorkels and goggles were an easy fix but then it came to the flippers and again we had to try on various sizes and waddled around like penguins.  Dazza found us most amusing.  Customer service is a top rating.

So with time to kill we had the chance to cruise around beautiful Narooma in the Hyundai i30 Premium and take in the magnificent views of the beaches and even go for walks on some of them.  There is so much to see in Narooma a half a day is really not long enough, but what we did get to see will stay in our memories forever.  All four of us have said we are going to arrange another trip to Narooma to spend more time there and sit back and relax.

After our sight seeing around Narooma we headed off to the Narooma wharf getting more excited every minute about playing in the water with the fur seals. We arrived at the wharf in our Hyundai i30 Premium car, found our charter the playstation, met our skipper Ben and we all jumped on board, including iBear who we soon found trying to be the skipper.  To do so though he would have needed a booster seat and much longer arms, but hey, no harm in trying.  Ben soon sorted him out.

So off we headed to Montague Island.  As the day had gone along it had become a little windy so it was choppy on the water and the charter boat was not that big.  There were lots of YiHa's from us all as we felt like we were in a rodeo competition.  No one got sea sick though we were to busy laughing at the comments and looks on each others faces.  I think we were so excited about swimming with the fur seals that we could only see the positives of our adventure.
Montague Island is like a huge monolith in the middle of the ocean and has a wonderful old lighthouse.

So now it was time to go snorkeling with the fur seals, Yay Team:-)

Okay so there are adventures and then there are adventures.  Snorkeling with the fur seals is the most magical experience any of us have ever had.  The water was a little chilly even with the wet suits but none of us cared, we had to much fun playing with the seals.  The seals would swim around us, come up and stare us in the face when we were under water, wondering what we were doing, dart off and then come back for another look.
There were so many that they rubbed against us whilst swimming by, did flips and rolls in the ocean and provided us with much laughter and entertainment. There were a number of seals that were just floating on their backs with their flippers up in the air out of the water.  Silly me thought they were sunbathing but I later found out that what they were in fact doing was regulating their temperature.  You learn something everyday. This is an adventure in itself, one that is unforgettable as well as being quite surreal.
Apart from swimming with the seals we also got to take in the amazing fish and ocean life whilst snorkeling to and from the boat.  An abundance of fish of so many different types and masses of sea urchins all bunched up together in big circles.
If you are ever in Narooma and want an experience of a life time, please seriously consider this type of adventure.
Please note that if you can not swim, you can still enjoy this adventure as the wetsuits keep you buoyant and if required you can also wear a life jacket.  We were all so proud of Mia who can not swim and was a little scared, but could not resist going into the water when she saw how much fun it was for all of us.  Well done Mia you are an absolute trooper and thrilled that you enjoyed every moment in the water with the seals.
Once all back on board with me the only one to struggle to get on the boat with everyone laughing at my antics we thought we were just heading back to the main land, but no, Ben had other plans.

Ben was so wonderful to us that he decided to give us all a chance to do some ocean fishing - again something the four of us had never done, quite exhausted from our time in the water, we all fired up again and went for it with rods in hand.

Yes I can tell you that one fish got away and it was on my line.  Ben said it was a big fish but I struggled to reel it in and it let go and swam away.
SquEEKs did a great job landing a large Queen Snapper and whilst Eligiusz (Alex) and Mia tried they had no luck but it was still fun for us all.

I have to admit that we were all shown up by a little boy named Fin who at 5 years of age is a great little fisherman and did his daddy proud.  Fin showed us all what to do with our rods, baiting the hooks, casting and how to reel in.  In doing so he landed a fish that did not look like anything we had ever seen before, it was a Scorpion fish that you had to be careful of as it had spikes everywhere, however we were told that they were great eating.

What a day we had and there was still more to come, we had to drive to Gipsy Point.  Before we did that however we took a little break and had a play in the children's playground near the wharf.

So after the oldies had a play, yes our children tell us we are old and I guess we did range in age from 50 to 60, we jumped back in our comfy car and headed off to Gipsy Point for our last evening together.

Gipsy Point Lakeside Boutique Resort here we come:-)

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