Because humans are much larger than vipers, vipers do not consider them prey and aren't inclined to attack.
They moved to a place where they could install a stove and make a fire for cooking. The tiger snake stopped bothering them and hid under a stone.
Ah Meow had been trying to stir the snake up, scratching with his little paws, trying to turn over rocks to fish the tiger snake out and play with it again.
Ah Ow was getting bold, wagging her tail and probing behind Ah Meow.
When Li Du noticed this, he picked up Ah Meow and slapped Ah Ow on her behind. "What are you doing? You'll die when the snake bites you, you know?"
Ah Ow was somewhat restrained after being beaten, but she was not deterred. The bigger she got, the bolder she became.
Li Du caught her and slapped her twice, and dragged her back by the ears. Finally, she stopped.
After lunch, they moved on, and after they drove south for some time, Melbourne came into view.
The city's first impression on Li Du was that it was green and clean.
Cities in the United States had gardens built between the steel and cement towers, but Melbourne seemed to have made steel and concrete towers in the middle of huge gardens.
"Are we going right now to the beach to harvest abalone?" asked Big Quinn, who had been driving.
Li Du shook his head. "There's no hurry. Let's explore first and learn how to dive."
"Why? Why not hire divers to catch abalone?" Big Quinn asked curiously.
This was another strategy adopted by Australia to protect the breeding of black abalone. In fact, the government and the ministry of fisheries actually wanted to ban harvesting permits for black abalone.
However, the permits were legally effective, and the government had no right to ban them.
Because of this, the government had an interesting loophole regarding the permits. Black gold abalone harvesting permits did not have a permit holder's name on them. This meant that whoever had the permit in their possession was considered the permit's owner.
In addition, the ministry of fisheries and the department of marine affairs also issued a regulation that black abalone fishermen must be registered with a permit when catching abalone each year.
In other words, in the black abalone fishing process, it's not legal to dive for abalone and then come up with a permit afterward. The permit had to be certified and registered before any diving could be done.
In this case, it was not appropriate to hire fishermen to use the permit, unless the person hired could be trusted. The person wanting to do the harvesting needed to hold the permit when registering because once a permit was handed over, it would not be clear who the permit belonged to.
In the last decade, there had been multiple cases of permit disputes in the history of Australia's black gold abalone fishing.
The judging standard in the court was, "the person and the permit is a body," which meant the permit belonged to the person holding it.
So, the owners of the harvesting permit were very careful in keeping the permit. When they weren't using it, they would keep it in a bank safe deposit box. When they were using it, they would make sure the permit was always with them.
Such was the case with Brooks, who carried his permit with him even when he went home with his wife.
Another point was that each season, only two people were allowed to register for a single permit. The owner of the permit could not replace a permit unless he or she encountered severe conditions such as death or serious injury.
Li Du wanted to go into the sea himself. There were two kinds of black gold abalone harvesting, shallow sea, and deep sea.
The other owner of the permit was Hans. They had already registered on the internet. They only needed to go to the fisheries department for certification.
While driving in downtown Melbourne, Li Du took in the view. He thought the city was quite appealing.
They were entering the center of the city, where there was a lot of traffic and a lot of noise.
However, the city's atmosphere was still very relaxing. There were many old trees lining the street.
Many people were resting or playing under the trees and on the grass. Some people were sitting drinking afternoon tea.
There were also wild animals such as agile deer and fluffy llamas in the slightly more remote environs. Ah Meow licked her chops and looked at an oak tree. Li Du took a good look and saw a koala there.
As the car drove along the tree-lined road, Li Du marveled. "Are we in the city? I thought it was a garden!"
"Yes, this is a garden," Lu Guan said. "The Treasury Gardens, the Fitzroy Gardens, the Birrarung Marr Park. Look, that's the sculpture terrace. The places we passed along the way are all gardens."
The park they were currently driving down was the Royal Botanic Garden. The roadside was filled with greenery and flower beds creating beautiful scenery. The trails were demarcated with decorative laid logs. Although they were artificial, it was comfortable and very natural.
Li Du first went for diving certification so that he could learn how to dive and then go harvest the black gold abalone.
At the southern tip of Melbourne, there was a stretch of land extending out of the mainland called the southeast corner, which was indeed the southeast part of Australia and a diving spot.
They drove without stopping to the southeast corner.
The weather began to change, with the occasional ray of sunshine in the morning turning into a thorough gloom later on. There seemed to be a stifling layer of ink-stained cotton in the air.
As the car reached the southeast corner, Li Du got out to stroll on the beach.
The beach there was not the most picturesque, though the water was blue and clear, and there were some islands and reefs.
"Why aren't there many people? Shouldn't there be a lot of abalone fishermen and divers here?" asked Li Du.
There was no one on the beach, and there were not many boats in the sea.
There were occasional people on the beach, but they were in a hurry and did not seem like leisurely ocean lovers.
"Hello, sir. Why is there no one here?"
The man looked at them in surprise and said, "Did you not get the storm warning? Why would anyone go to the sea when a storm is coming?"
Li Du recalled that earlier in Canberra, the owner of their hotel said there had been a major storm in recent days, but they hadn't seen any storms, believing the weather forecast was wrong.
As if to impress these newbies, the sea weather was changeable. They just knew there was going to be a big storm. The wind coming off the sea suddenly grew stronger, hitting them in the face.
The blue water was no longer clear. The wind was blowing and the waves were rolling. The water was cloudy, and big waves were rolling on the sea one after another. The white waves were hitting against the rocks and making a bang sound.
The three little land animals who were terrified by the sight rushed to get into the car.
Standing by the sea, Li Du was splashed by the seawater, even though he backed away immediately.
"Boss!" At that moment, Lu Guan waved and said, "Let's leave. The storm's coming in."