Blue Angels, Spotted Rays and Coral – Along Ningaloo Reef

Don’t you worry your pretty head
I’ll never let you down
I’ll always be around
Blue angel

by Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison sang of blue angels and heartache. When his own heart gave up at the young age of 52 mine nearly went with it. Cryin, In Dreams and Only the Lonely. Life could be lived through these soaring ballads. The Big O’s own life however was marred with tragedy. He lost his wife and two sons to accidents but continued to produce a stream of beautiful songs until he left us. Sha la la, dooby wah
Dum dum dum, yeh yeh, um, wah wah wah wah, Dum dum dum dum dum dum.

We were floating in about five metres of clear blue water over Ningaloo Reef. Quietly going about their business of sliding in and out of the coral corridors were groups of Blue Angelfish. Their expressions reminded me of our grandaughter Elodie when she was a toddler. Large eyes glaring menacingly at you with jaw set in an expression of severe distaste. “What are you looking at” it said. She is not like that now. A ball of energy and an endearing smile. But that look of inquisition is sometimes fleetingly there. So goes the Blue Angelfish. The odd Blue spotted ray flapped past along with large schools of tiny Blue-green chromis, clownfish and the spectaculer Yellow boxfish. And all this 50 metres off a pristine white sandy beach. We were in Coral Bay.

Bermuda blue angelfish.jpg
Blue Angelfish – courtesy of Aquafanatic
Coral Bay

If Coral Bay looks as good as it gets – it is. A small township operating purely for tourism it boast two campgrounds, an IGA, two pubs, a restaurant and several tourism venture companies. Snorkeling, diving, whale watching and fishing are the activities here and the town thrives on it. The temperatures in winter are late twenties to early thirties. The water is 25C. There are family groups and foreign backpackers everywhere. They come because Ningaloo Reef is just a warm 20 metre swim from the beach. At low tide you can almost walk to the reef’s edge. And we did.

Ningaloo Reef or “the other reef” is Australia’s largest fringing reef system and stretches 300 km from Red Bluff (Carnavon) to the Muiron Islands off the Exmouth Coast. Coral Bay sits about halfway along the reef system or Ningaloo Marine Park. The park teems with marine life including over 500 fish species, manta rays and sting rays, dugongs, turtles – both loggerhead and green, humpback and minke whales on migration and whalesharks. Oh the beautiful whalesharks. More exciting news of these magnificent creatures later. Meanwhile we swam in Coral Bay, snorkeled the reef including the aptly named Ayres Rock. Some 200 metres offshore Ayres Rock is a miniature (very miniature) copy of what is now Uluru but made of coral and underwater. It is a swim to get there but oh so worth it. Home to hundreds of reef fish of every colour and size it is a hard coral structure in a sea of fan and staghorn corals. We snorkeled it each day of our visit here. Unfortunately no turtles (it is not yet breeding season) but who cared. After five idylic days we thought it couldn’t get better. We hadn’t reckoned with our next stop at Exmouth.

48 hours: What to see, do and eat in Coral Bay • The Sweet Wanderlust
Snorkeling Ayres Rock – Coral Bay

6 thoughts on “Blue Angels, Spotted Rays and Coral – Along Ningaloo Reef

  1. Hello Margaret and Mike:- Thank you for the very descriptive email and photos written again today. Half your luck travelling round Australia. What wonderful memories you will have and fantastic photos to keep for the years ahead. Andrew and I are enjoying your trip and we look forward to the next Travels with Mr Gato Downunder. We are well with Andrew improving slowly with his 3 days a week at rehab. We see the families frequently and all the children are back to school full time. I am hoping to get back to my tennis group on Friday after my knee problem over 3 years ago while Andrew is at rehab for 3 hours. W.A. is still being careful before lifting restrictions but hopefully that will occur in the near future and good for you when it does, but I guess that is not a problem for you at present. Continue to enjoy, watch out for the Sharks, drive safely and keep well. With love from both of us. Thea.

    Sent from my iPad



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