Keppel Island Blessings

Author : Kevin Whittington, 2002


The weekend was shaping up well for our church youth camp. The weather was calm with a light northerly wind blowing; however the tides were only about 0.9m, so I wasn't expecting to find any shells at all. We decided to trek across the island to Monkey Point on the Southern end of Great Keppel Island. Around 1pm on Friday afternoon about seven teenagers, my wife and I set off. To our surprise when we reached the southern end of the Island the water was crystal clear and calm as a millpond. As we walked across to Monkey Point I saw that the tide was far to high to turn rocks so we jumped in the water instead, casually snorkeling across the rocks we were unaware of the surprises that awaited us.

I had previously told the kids that I was looking for a Black Cowrie, of course none of them were at all interested (and also didn't know what a cowrie looked like). Anyhow I began searching; the first shell I was to find was a badly damaged Cypraea Vitellus, which after showing off was replaced, where it was found. My next find was an interesting Cypraea Arabica with an unusual milky base, I was quite excited about this but was even more excited when I was blessed with a find of a melanistic Cypraea Eglantina. After a short while I had collected three live Cypraea Stolida from different rocks and three Cypraea Asellus, all of which were under the same rock, I then made the discovery of a wonderfully rostrate and black Cypraea Macula. By this time I was thanking God for a wonderful day and awesome blessings in the form of shells. But there was more to come. As we were snorkeling one of the girls, a young lady named Nyanya surfaced beside me and handed me a jet black Cypraea Arabica saying "Is this the one your looking for?" I nearly fell over as I'm sure would most of you, the teenagers stood there laughing at me, saying I was acting like I girl (I stood there for ten minutes squealing and laughing in disbelief). I carefully waddled back up to my bag to safely place my treasure in its own container, stating that if I fell over I'd make sure my shell was protected even at the expense of numerous oyster cuts. Fortunately I didn't fall and was soon back in the water again thanking God. After that the Cypraea Erosa and the black Cypraea Errones topped off a perfect day.

After such an awesome day I was naturally keen to return the following day. Saturday morning came and it was decided that once the various Bible Studies and activities of the day were completed I would again trek over to Monkey Point. I had previously prayed asking God for a Melanistic Cypraea Arabica and I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't personally find the Black One. With a few boys who had no interest in my shells we set off again, upon reaching Monkey Point we were in the water again in a flash. I saw numerous Cypraea Arabica and Cypraea Annulus, none of which were exciting. I turned over a rock and saw the biggest ugliest Cypraea Annulus I have ever seen, I was naturally excited. After another half an hour of snorkeling finding nothing I was almost ready to leave. I had a rather nasty cramp in my right leg when I spotted a likely looking rock, I heaved it up just far enough to see a Black Cypraea Arabica, and I reached in quickly and grabbed my prize. That was enough for me, extremely content we went back to camp.

When the meetings of the night where finished and all had gone to bed, I had trouble sleeping because I was so excited with the wonderful creations I had discovered that day and after all Gods extraordinary blessings I decided to do a night walk on Putney Beach. Not able to wake anyone else I went alone at around 1am. I was surprised to find numerous Amoria Zebra scattered across the exposed sand flat so I collected a few for my son and myself, one of which has a light band across it, and some for the shell club.

By the time we were to leave on the Sunday Afternoon I was exhausted but extremely satisfied. We had an awesome Youth Camp and a profitable weekend as far as shells are concerned and I can't wait to get back again. I hope you enjoy the Photos of my finds and pray that you are blessed also as you collect God's awesome creations. By the way, the Youth still think I'm crazy.