Everything in Australia will kill you. I’d been hearing it for years. As always, I was a bit skeptical. Don’t believe the hype
But the facts were there. 5 out of the 10 most venomous snakes in the world are found here, including the most lethal one. Saltwater crocs with a taste for human flesh patrol waters close to shore and can jump up to 10-feet out of the water to snap up the unwary yachtie. Poisonous fish, octopus, and jellyfish lurk in the shark-ridden waters. Not to mention the poisonous spiders skitter about on land.
Even Captain Nemo warned me that the best policy in Australia was to assume something was deadly or at least poisonous unless proven otherwise. Don’t step on coral and shells on the ocean floor; be careful of plants, animals, insects… yup pretty much everything.
I wasn’t entirely sure he wasn’t pulling my leg. After all, this was the man who tried his best to convince me that the fanged, flesh-eating koala-gone-bad, the drop bear, existed. Then we started catching sharks.
It seemed like every other fish that we caught was a vicious, cold-blooded shark. At least every other day we would catch and release one or two of the predators. Prying the lures out from between the double-row of razor-sharp fangs was a new challenge each time. But somehow we managed. After the third shark I started to believe the hype. And it didn’t seem like Australia was getting any safer.
Sure, these were young sharks we were catching; none of them was more than 3-feet long. But why were the young ones flocked around boats? It seemed like there were a lot of them in the water and what would happen when these youngsters grew up?
One thing was sure; I wanted no part of boat dragging, holding onto a rope and letting it pull me through the ocean, in Australian waters. I’d feel a little too close to bait.