Manly Beach and the search for the water dragon
Taking a half day trip to Manly was a treat. We went on a Friday, and since the weather was ideal for being outside, the crowds obliged.
Our trip involved a walk to Circular Quay, then a ferry ride to Manly ($7.35 AUD, one way). As we left on the ferry, we passed the Royal Caribbean ship, Ovation of the Seas. This ship was in the news this month because of a norovirus outbreak that affected 195 passengers. Caroline once was on a cruise ship with a norovirus outbreak, and she has a tale of a long line of passengers outside the medical offices, all in bathrobes and carrying barf bags. Since this gastrointestinal virus doesn’t develop spontaneously on a boat, but is brought in with passengers and crew, the combination of hundreds or thousands of people confined in a small space, with drinking and late night events stressing the body makes cruise boats particularly susceptible to rapid outbreaks. Good to know just before I embark on a cruise boat!
•••The surf at the beach was rough with a dangerous current, and the lifeguards kept warning people not to get in the water outside a very narrow area. It was a strange sight, with thousands of people on the beach, and only a sliver of humanity extending into the water (except for the surfers, who got to go where the waves were).
Eventually, we went for a walk to a local nature reserve, in search of the eastern water dragon. I thought the marine iguanas of the Galapagos were the only marine lizard, but the water dragons also swim in the ocean. However, the water dragons do not forage there, so the marine iguanas rightfully earn the title of “marine lizard.” We saw 4! And in a crushing blow to my wildlife tracking skills, the easiest way to find them was to look for a group of people pointing at a spot off the path.
Then, back to the ferry terminal and crowds, past the Sydney Opera House (can’t...help...myself...) and a walk through central Sydney to the Adina Apartment Hotel.