Where better to launch a range of new cameras and camcorders than at the Great Barrier Reef?
On one windswept weekend, Panasonic launched seven Lumix cameras and nine camcorders at the Lady Elliot Island eco resort, located at the southern end of Great Barrier Reef. One of only six island resorts on the reef, it has a grass airstrip that stretches the entire length of the island and can only be reached commercially via prop jet.
We found this little beauty -- no, we're not wearing khaki as we type this -- lying with some mates in a shallow water coral bed. The blue sea star (linckia laevigata) is one of more common varieties of starfish.
The dearly departed
Along the high water mark of Lady Elliot's beaches are lines of dead coral that have been washed ashore. Most of the dead coral has been bleached of its colour but some, like this red example, still retain some of their pigmentation.
These crabs are thus named because they live inside mollusc shells. When they outgrow their current shell, they must find a new, larger shell to inhabit. The crabs we encountered were the shy, retiring type, often retreating into the comfort of their shell whilst we were around. We're not sure how they kept themselves entertained whilst in their shell because Lady Elliot Island is without mobile phone or TV reception.
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
This frog was sitting on a piece of PVC piping minding its own business when an army of camera-armed journos came bearing down on it. It didn't bat an eyelid as we shone torches at it and clicked away for a good ten minutes.
A sunset for Ken
For the most part, our time on Lady Elliot Island was overcast and windy but it cleared up for long enough for us to witness this gorgeous sunset. Special guest Ken Duncan -- yes, that Ken Duncan -- was on hand to give us tips and advice.
Sea turtles come ashore on Lady Elliot Island to mate and lay eggs. Although we weren't fortunate enough to see a turtle hatch, we did swim with many a turtle. This one was doing the rounds in the waters outside the resort's main beach.
Thousands of fishies
Even though it's impossible to look underwater and not see a fish, most of our shots ended up being of coral. That's because, on many occasions, by the time we had pressed shoot and the camera had finished doing its thing, the fish had swum away. That and the fact that we spent a lot of time trying not to ingest a lungful of salt water.
White capped noddy
Swarms of the white capped noddies (anous minitus) call Lady Elliot Island home all year round. There's no escaping their calls, nor the smell of their droppings, wherever you go on the island.