Crocodile

This was my first crocodile siting.  I went on a boat ride to specifically go crocodile watching, so while it was in an area that was known to have crocodiles, it was still my first time seeing a wild crocodile.  This is an estuarine crocodile, the more vicious of the crocodiles.  Apparently these will attack a human for no other reason than the fact that you are in the water.  I usually hear these referred to as “salties,” while the more mild freshwater crocodiles are referred to as “freshies.”  There was a river near campus (the Ross river) that I would always bike ride along or go to swing on a rope swing from a tree into the water with friends from my dorm (or college, as Australians call it) and apparently there were supposed to be freshies in the river.  However, I was never really all that nervous about it because I was always told that they won’t bother you unless you bother them and whenever I was swimming, I was always with a group of people so I knew that it would be very unlikely that freshies would bother us.  Meanwhile, if we were in an estuary, I would absolutely not feel safe and would not dare swim there.

It is also unfortunate how there really is only a small window of opportunity for swimming in the ocean.  In winter (our summertime), even though the temperature is still really high for a winter season, the water is generally too cold to swim in without a wetsuit.  Then it warms up and you can swim in it for a few months until it becomes stinger season and it is unsafe without a lycra stingersuit.  Jellyfish become very abundant and some, such as irukandji, will sting you without you even seeing them because they are so small, but their sting is very venomous and is incredibly painful.  Then there is the deadly box jellyfish that is also a potential danger in the oceans off the coast of Australia, which is why when summer approaches, ocean swimming declines.  However, as a safety precaution, all the public beaches that I saw had mailbox-looking containers that held bottles of vinegar in them to put on the stings if someone should encounter a stinger.



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