05 May 2009
Team 1: Introduction to Ningaloo
I’m Alex, and the day has finally arrived where I become a volunteer for the Earthwatch expedition with whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) at Ningaloo Reef.
I arrived at the Exmouth Visitors Centre at about 2pm, and was met there by the expedition leader Brad Norman, from there we were taken to our accommodation. Once there, introductions took place and I was pleased to officially meet fellow team members Tanya, Natalie, Leah, Doris and Ken as well as the research staff Darcy Bradley, Steve Lindfield and Yohanna Aurisch. It didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to whale sharks.
At about 5.15pm we went to Vlamingh Head Lighthouse to participate in a welcome to country by Ann Preest, on behalf of Mr John Dale, of the North West Cape Aboriginal Corporation. Ann is the endorsed representative of the late Sydney Dale (Munarbrie). He was the custodian of the Yinigudura-West Thalanyji people of North West Cape.
Anne’s welcome was as interesting as it was moving as she told us of the local indigenous history of the area. As part of the welcome we introduced ourselves not only to Anne, but also to her ancestors in order that they also got to know us, then there was a beautiful sunset to finish off day one.
There’s only one thing left to say, and that is everybody is excited about tomorrow’s encounter with the whale sharks.
See ya later,