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LEAFY SEA DRAGONS
at Kangaroo Island
As many of you know, I have been enjoying annual great white shark cruises for 24 years with my good friend (and renowned white shark victim) Rodney Fox.
Five years ago, Rodney insisted that I spend a few extra days to visit nearby Kangaroo Island to photograph itís rare leafy sea dragons. It turned out to be one of the best tips Iíve ever received from anyone.
On Kangaroo Island I basked in the welcome of Jim and Josie Thiselton; Jimís daily diving forays were a riot of unique imagesórides to the boat marina in his 1963 military vehicle known only as THE TRUCK. Kangaroos, eagles wallabies, sheep, and views from thousand-foot hilltops made the ride a spectacle for the senses; from Jim's dive boat, cliffs along the coast provided an awe-filled backdrop to the dive sites.
Then there was the diving, in which we unfailingly came face to face with the uniquely-decorated leafy sea dragons. It was simply fabulous, and I treasured the memories for years. Jim has always taken especially good care of clients I sent him.
As you can imagine, I just had to return, to convince myself that it really had been as sensational as I remembered. I was delighted to find that in fact it was even better!
Jimís dive operation is a warmhearted marvel, and the perfect counterpoint to the riotous thrills of our great white shark expeditions. Once again, we marveled at as many as four leafy sea dragons on each dive. As a huge bonus, we saw several weedy sea dragons as well. Cuttlefish stalked us, sleepy rays tolerated us, and in general we enjoyed one of those dive vacations which glow in one's memory for years.
The big news for this year is Jim's alliance with Gum Valley Retreat for his guestsí accommodations. This aptly-named guest house boasts superb rooms, food so good that one must experience it to believe it, and the kind of welcome that only a family run resort can provide. It even has brilliant pink parrots called Gullahs flying an aerial circus right outside your windows each day.
Frank, Donna and Pam of Gum Valley, Jim and Josie Thiseltonóthese are the kind of people I seek out all over the world, because they deliver all of the varied facets of an unforgettable adventure. Don't miss this gem when you take your great white shark adventure!
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