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Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Keppel Island Australia


Imagine this could be the last time you see this kind of sea turtles passing by the coral reef around the Great Keppel Island of Australia?


Great Keppel Island is just a water taxi away from surrounding beaches and National Park Islands. And it's exactly there that a Chinese vessel hit the Great Barrier Reef in the beginning of the month. As for today, the vessel has been refloated leaving an obvious grounding scar on the reef.


North West Island Australia
Playful dolphin - island hopping on our way to North West Island of Australia (background right)


More damage ahead caused by the Chinese vessel as oil washed up on the beautiful beach of the North West Island. This island is a breeding ground of many (funny looking) birds and sea turtles. Needless to say if oil is found on the beach, more oil is floating above the reef damaging it even further.


Some might argue: luckily the Chinese vessel was carrying coal and not oil... The sad news however is that every snorkler and diver knows: you cannot come to close with your boat to the reef to prevent its destruction. The area where the Chinese vessel hit the coral reef was strictly forbidden for sea vessels, so this disaster is again due to people taking a short cut to feed their greed.


If people only think about short term gain, then we advice you to visit Australian's Gold Coast as soon as possible. Although the water is colder than in Malaysian or Maldivian diving waters and the reef is a bit off coast: I just found that snorkeling with and touching the sea turtle is an unforgettable and priceless experience.