I have been fortunate to have joined an annual trip to Coral Bay, which Ian (Toad) Godfrey, started doing in the nineteen seventies. When Toad brought his family on these trips, he started a tradition of taking a picture of him and his family at an anthill on the road into Coral Bay. This continues even though his children are adults.
Toad’s daughter Jane and her partner Matt joined us on the 2020 trip, followed by Steve, Matt’s Dad, who cruised up with friends on their ocean racing yacht. I know, he was trying too hard.
If If you were wondering, Toad got his nickname because Godfrey, his surname, sounds a bit like “frog” and a frog is a bit like a toad. This could only have happened in Australia.
The more observant of you will know that there is a problem with a virus. Well, either that or Five-G can cause lung infections, even before it’s introduced. We got to Coral Bay in the second week after travel restrictions within our State were lifted. International travel restrictions hadn’t lifted though, and Matt and Jane were unable to go on the trip to Europe to meet his relatives there. On the last day of their stay, Jane woke up after bad dreams and Matt was comforting her with a cup of tea, when Jane said that this was starting to sound like a proposal, Matt said, ‘Well, it is.’ Matt being Matt,, he had resized an engagement ring for jane that had been in his family from his grandmother’s time. Matt had decided to propose to Jane here. because he said, ‘Coral Bay was where Jane was happiest’. I think both know how lucky they are
BBeing among the first people to get to Coral Bay after travel restrictions were lifted, we were interested in what a break from tourists would mean for the fish stocks. The Emperors, which have white meat and are considered better eating, did not seem to be in greater numbers, but the Trevally with darker meat and not consider good eating, had increased in numbers, as had big predators such as sharks and dolphins. I don’t think I was believed when I said I saw a Spanish Mackerel, inside the reef, when I was diving. Either these predators like Five-G or they had taken over from us human predators.
On previous trips we had kept the few Trevally caught were a breakfast treat. This trip we were catching them in quantity and they don’t freeze as well. We discovered they make great sashimi. The Trevally are lucky dolphins and sharks don’t have any wasabi paste.
.Diving this year was great as always. I have now ordered an underwater camera, that hopefully will last longer thDiving this year was great as always. I have now ordered an underwater camera, that hopefully will last longer than the last one. I dived with turtles and rays and always looked for schools of fish I called Butter and Vegemite fish. I have just discovered that these fish are juvenile Golden Trevally. I also know what juvenile Spangled emperors look like now. They are not that distinctive, and I don’t remember seeing them, but I’ll have a good look next time I’m lucky enough to get up there.