The sky was clear after the storm.
On the second day, Li Du experienced Australia's clear skies and scorching hot sun. As it was already autumn, the sun should not have been so hot.
However, as there did not seem to be an ozone layer above Australia, the sunlight that shined over her seemed not to be blocked and hence, shined directly onto people's bodies and caused widespread burning pain on the skin.
After Big Quinn had rubbed half a bottle of suntan lotion on his body, Li Du and the other two shared the remaining half. Even after putting on suntan lotion, they still felt uncomfortable under the sun when they were on the cape in the morning.
When harvesting abalone in Australia, there were a lot of rules to abide by, which were much more than the rules in storage unit auctions.
First of all, there was a rule regarding the size of the abalones that were allowed to be harvested. The length of abalones harvested must not be shorter than five inches or 12.5 centimeters.
Secondly, abalone pry bars that complied with the regulations were the only harvesting tools that could be used. Daggers or other knives could not be used when harvesting abalones, or else, the abalone would lose too much blood and die.
Thirdly, right after reaching shore after harvesting abalone, they were required to fill up the abalone cards, which were the identification cards for the abalones, that they carried along with them and pin them onto the abalones. The cards could only be taken down when the abalones were about to be eaten.
When Li Du had gone to register a few days ago, he'd received a stack of abalone cards. Besides having to write down the year, month, day, and time of harvest and location of harvest on the cards, photocopies of the cards had to be made and mailed together to the Department of Fishing and Hunting every week.
In regards to trading, harvested abalones were not allowed to be immediately given to others or sold. The abalones had to be proven to be the fruits of one's own labor and then sent to the market.
As such, with this rule, unnecessary misunderstanding and trouble would be prevented since harvested abalones could not be passed on to friends for help in transporting them.
Lastly, breaking rules was definitely not allowed. During the abalone harvesting season, officers from the Department of Fishing and Hunting would patrol the shoreline from time to time. Nowadays, they also utilized long-range video recordings and unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor and catch illegal acts that were carried out when harvesting abalone.
Besides an extremely hefty fine, offenders would also be taken to court.
As the unlawful harvesting of abalone was a criminal offense in Australia, offenders would have a criminal record, be imprisoned for an average of half a year, and fined from a few thousand to upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.
If the offender were a foreigner, the criminal record would result in problems when entering Australia in the future. If the offender were an Australian, the impact of the criminal record would be much greater as their bank credit rating and the application of a few professional licenses would be affected.
All in all, when harvesting black gold abalone, unlawful means should never be used even if it meant a slightly smaller harvest.
After a very short wait on the shore, Li Du and the others could see someone carrying diving suits and equipment on the beach.
When they entered slowly into the water after completing warm-up exercises, an officer from the Department of Fishing and Hunting, who wore a uniform, came over to them to check their harvesting abalone permit.
As expected, those people kept their permits well-protected by either bring them along or passing them over to their sibling or wife.
Since Li Du would also be harvesting abalone today, he took out his permit to show it to the officer when the officer walked by him. The officer glanced strangely at him. "This is yours?"
"Yeah," Li Du replied.
After glancing at Godzilla and Big Quinn, the officer curled his lips and left. Evidently, the officer suspected that Li Du was a gang member and that the permit had been stolen from other people.
Even though abalones could be found scattered around the reef, most of their size did not meet the criteria as almost all of them were shorter than 10 centimeters. As they were not allowed to be harvested since they were small abalones, they were able to thrive here.
Li Du thought highly of Australia's strict management of natural resources. If China could also protect their fishery resources in such a manner, a lot of resources could be left for future generations.
The wind and waves were small. Li Du kept pacing along the shore while observing people harvesting abalone.
This area of the sea had over a dozen abalone harvesters. As the use of oxygen tanks was not allowed, the harvesters could only dive underwater for a period of time before having to come up to the surface to breathe and rest.
Li Du found an opportunity. Seeing someone come up to shore to rest, he brought hot cocoa over to learn from him.
While handing the hot cocoa to him, Li Du smiled in a flattering manner. "Hey, friend, such a muscular physique."
The harvester was a middle-aged Caucasian man around forty years old. The muscular physique that he'd obtained from diving frequently throughout the year was used by Li Du as a conversation starter.
The harvester looked at him warily. "What's the matter?"
Li Du smiled. "I'm a tourist and I find your job to be very interesting"
"There's nothing interesting about my job, you can find out more about it online," the harvester coldly replied with a sentence before walking far away from Li Du and his group with his wife, who was on the shore.
While the couple was walking away, they still looked back as they found Li Du and his group to be very frightening.
Li Du was able to understand how they felt. Godzilla and Big Quinn, whom he had brought along, did not seem like decent people and looked even more boorish than thugs. It was clear that the harvester was worried they would rob him of his harvesting permit.
After consecutively finding a few people in hopes of gaining some knowledge, he ended up being rejected by all of them even when he went alone and did not bring Godzilla and Big Quinn.
Although there was not a lot of large black gold abalone at the beach, searching for them was much easier than searching for fire opals.
More than half an hour after Li Du had arrived on the beach, a harvester found a black gold abalone.
However, after bringing it to shore, he did not give the others a chance to look at it and immediately pinned an abalone card on it before storing it in a storage box. Whenever someone got close, he would chase them away in an angry tone.
Seeing this, Lu Guan sighed, "There isn't a single bit of humanity in this profession. Boss, do you think they are lonely and bitter living like this?"
"Being able to earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars annually, do you think you would have a lonely and bitter life?"
After Li Du released the little bug into the sea, it began searching the surroundings.
As observed by him earlier, although there were quite a few abalones in this area of the sea, the number of large abalones was low.
Due to harvesters holding their breaths while looking for abalones in the water, which made searching difficult, and the low quantity of large abalones that complied with the harvest criteria, the chances of finding an abalone was very low.
Even though the little bug's vision was great underwater and it was even able to find a few abalones, its efficiency was low due to the low quantity of abalones. It was only after expending some energy that Li Du managed to find a single large abalone hiding in the reef.
As this area of the sea had a very beautiful seabed and coral colonies, it was not surprising that this area was a famous diving spot.
There were constantly small fish, prawns, and crabs swimming past the sea anemones and seaweeds growing on the bright and colorful corals. From time to time, large fish and crabs could also be seen.
Having found the large abalone after a round of searching, Li Du took off his shirt, began warming up, and said, "Seems like I will have to get a feel for it myself."
Lu Guan asked, "Boss, you want to go into the sea?"
"No," Li Du replied. "I want to do a striptease for you guys."
Lu Guan grinned. "That can't be it. You definitely want to go into the sea."
"Of course, why ask if you already know?" Li Du responded unpleasantly.
The few consecutive refusals by the abalone harvesters had put him in a bad mood.
Lu Guan said weakly, "I only wanted to show some concern. You have to be careful, the sea here is very dangerous."
Li Du knew that the sea was dangerous. However, the water here wasn't even 20 feet deep at 30 feet from the shore. It was shallow so there was no need to worry about being swept into deepwater regions since there was no undercurrent. This area of the sea was safe.
As such, it was safer to harvest abalones here.