I’m a sucker for lame jokes. Like this one:

What is a snake’s favourite subject?

I like a bit of history, but snakes, not so much. Still, I’ve had a few snake/history combinations recently.

In 1911 the SS Yongala sank after steaming into a cyclone off the QLD coast. All souls on board were lost, including a race horse and a prize-winning bull. The wreck wasn’t discovered until the 1970s, but is now one of the best dive sites in the world. I recently had the fortune to do a dive trip out to the Yongala and although the seas were a bit choppy, the diving was indeed excellent. The wreck sits in 26 metres of water, so you don’t get too much bottom time (and as it is a gravesite, wreck penetration is forbidden) but we saw giant Queensland grouper, colourful angel fish, and sea-snakes! Apparently they are more deadly than land snakes, but have brittle teeth that struggle to bite through human skin (or wetsuit). I didn’t test out the theory (but they did get pretty close!)


Meanwhile on land, while we were bushwalking up to an old World War II fort constructed on Magnetic Island in 1943, I nearly stepped on another deadly snake: a coastal taipan. Unlike most other snakes that usually beat a hasty retreat when humans come stumbling by, taipans usually stand their ground. And this one did, eyeing me off. He ended up winning the stare-off and I cautiously backed up. We proceeded to the fort, learnt a bunch from the informative displays, and checked out the fantastic view. On the way back down we were lucky enough to also see koalas in the trees.


Anyway, talk of shipwrecks and islands has led me to life’s big questions #3: If your ship sank and you were stuck on a deserted island, who would you want to be stuck on there with?

I’m thinking Bear Grylls, for his survival skills; Josh Richards, the Aussie ex-Army scientist/comedian who wants to get selected to live on Mars, because I reckon he’d be bloody handy too; and my bestie Sondra, because she’s great company. And maybe a Telstra or Optus technician to get wifi up running…(otherwise how would I blog about it??).



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