The dinghy collected all the swags and camp stuff, then us, as we farewelled Cone Bay in the early light. Fishing was the first job, to make sure we had enough for dinner tonight. Roger is our most successful fisherman, but this morning he said he had a feeling I would make the biggest catch of the day. It was very quiet for a while, then suddenly something big took my bait, I yelled for our deckhand Chook to help, and he reeled in a good sized Golden Trevally. Jodie the chef looked disdainful, but S and I have eaten Trevally in the past and thought it was delicious. We suggested trying some sashimi, the crew looked disgusted but most of the passengers were keen, thus followed a delicate gourmet morning snack.
Swimming at Silica Beach was the first stop today, a superb white beach slotted into Kimberley rock,with sand the consistency of cornflour. Captain Greg’s program is saltwater swim first, followed by freshwater swim, which doubles as the soapless bath of the day.
Silica Beach is in Yampi Sound, where we spent the rest of the day. We set up camp early on Monument Beach, then motored around the Croc Creek for our freshwater idyll. What shock to discover another boat at the end of the inlet, two couples camped for the night, the BBQ fire burning, and their home made vessel named Bucket List! We invaded them for an hour or so, but Greg insisted we did not swim in the large lower pool, instead climbing up the waterfall to the top pool which was heavenly.
A smallish Merton’s Water Monitor was resting on a rock in the pool, just a little wary of all the activity but determined not to move. Geoff from Washington State USA crept in for a close up.
The sun was lowering fast as the dinghy took us back to the Kimberley Xplorer; here we are with Cpn Greg at the helm.
Dinner and sunset came at once on Monument Beach, and it seemed strange to us that a nearby iron ore mine on Koolan Island showed lights across the bay. It is the highest grade iron ore in Australia; a huge bulk carrier rested at anchor near Cockatoo Island, rows of tiny cabin lights gleaming in the distance. I walked along the beach to take this photo so that the ship was almost hidden in the shadows …..
We sat around the fire for a while … laughing a lot … until those extremely comfortable swags with their eggcrate foam mattresses claimed us all.