This is a Wobbegong Shark of which we saw a few during our two dives. These sharks spend most of their time sitting on the ocean floor blending in with their surroundings.
On Friday at 5:45 am, we walked to the next marina, East Coast Marine, a 1/2 mile walk from our boat to get on a dive boat for a two-tank dive. We carried with us our masks, fins and thin dive skins, and also a few whistles, a dive knife and a dive sausage (a 3' orange vinyl tube that is inflated to attract the attention of the diveboat if we don't make it back to the boat). Australia has the strictest safety requirements for diving, probably because the movie "Open Water" was based on a true story where 2 divers were left behind while diving off Australia. After a one hour ride we were outside the bay entrance in the open sea at a place called "Flat Rock". Even with our full length wetsuits, the 73 degree water felt icy. We saw minimal coral (some dark purple soft ones), a huge grouper, a very large black bull ray, two lion fish and two Wobbegong Sharks very similar to the above photo. Upon our return, we were very pleased that the diveboat let us off at the slip directly behind our boat. Thank you, Mates!
These are glow worms as they look in the cave. Because we were not allowed to take photos and our camera probably wouldn't have gotten this great image anyway, we did not take this photo. In the cave, only a dim red light is used by the guide to show our way. It is like looking up into the sky and seeing stars everywhere. The bio-luminescence is caused by a chemical reaction inside the larvae. When they are hungry, the light is brighter.
On Mt. Tamborine above the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia is a man made cave in a rain forest where glow worms are nurtured. They grow wild in Australia and New Zealand. This photo (not taken by us since no photo taking was allowed on our visit because the worms are super sensitive to light and air movement, even breathing at close proximity) shows the snares which are similar to spider webbing that they make which hang down to catch insects. If they get too much food to eat they turn off their bio-luminescence which attracts the insects.
This part of the huge beach that makes up the Gold Coast is called "Surfers' Paradise". The powdery sand beach was gorgeous but the high rises everywhere were a bit distracting. The beach is so large that there are flags that are 100' apart every so often that shows the area the lifeguards will monitor.
This large lizard obviously enjoyed sunning himself on the picnic table, but we didn't feel like disturbing him or sharing a lunch with him.
This is Portia leaning against one of the many huge "fig" trees in the rain forest on Mt. Tamborine, some 50 miles south of Brisbane, Australia.