“Dugong dugong go go go” I yell as I throw my mask on in a haphazardly kind of way half across my mouth and half over my nose, squashing one eye shut and the other squeezing just in to the mask. I hurl myself over the side of the dingy as elegantly as possible trying to create the smallest splash but some how manage to get my leg stuck, twisting me around and belly floppng me into the water. I search around looking through my one good eye as the mask fills wih water. the dugong is nowhere to be seen. I spend a few minutes making sure before I climb back into the dingy.
For the last hour I had been snorkelling around looking for dugongs. I know they are there, I have seen them from above the water, but so far I cant find them under the water. I have slade and the kids following me in hot pursuit in the dingy . I am so brave that I need a rescue vessel within arms reach of me. I slowly snorkel around and Slade rows behinde me, well that’s what he is supposed to do.I spent more time yelling at Slade then I did looking for dugons. Slade wasn’t doing his job by being with in hands reach of me in the dingy,.” You won’t see a dugong while the dingy is there” He exclaimed., I kept yelling back at him “I am in deep water , tiger sharks love dugongs , I need you to be super close to me.” When I say deep water I mean 3m, It was 3m deeper then what I felt comfortable in, but snorkelling on the sand would probably get you strange stares and you would most likely be labelled insane, not to mention the sand I would get stuck in my mouth and nose . Even Beany jumped in for a look. I popped my head up every third second to make sure Slade was running my toes over with the dingy. I eventually give up and cumbersomely climb back into the dingy, but once I am above water I can see them moving just a few feet away, so I throw on my mask and leap in. I look around and the dugong is gone once again.
For 2 hours we play cat and mouse with the dugongs. Slade paddles the dingy, I spot one and launch in, swim around darting back and fourth looking for sharks finding no sharks and then pursuing the dugong knowing the coast is clear. Nothing. I never see anything except sea grass. Maybe the tiger sharks have eaten them, time to get out.
We spotted 4 dugongs ,not one let me see it under water. I was hoping to see one. I really wanted to see one, I had spent the whole morning wallowing around in a reef pass not being able to move off the floor, while the kids jumped on me like I was a trampoline. For 3 hours I wallowed in my self pitty and contemplated life as a land lubber. For 3 hours my breakfast churned around at the top of my throat threatening to make a projectile spray across the boat. I felt I deserved to see the dugongs after my morning suffering. Slade had been given weeks worth of big heavy reef waves all I wanted was 2minutes with a dugong under the water. Hours after hours I spent spotting dugongs only to dive in and see nothing, I was frustrated beyond belief. They were there but they were also the most evasive creatures I have ever met ! So close but yet so far.. One day my braveness will be rewarded. I will get to see the elusive dugong, but before that happens I have to kill all the tiger sharks that lurk behind them in my mind. I am also happy to report that not a single shark was found on this sea diving expedition, only one sea cucumber and two star fish and last I checked they weren’t man eating predators