Dawn at Monument Beach found us packed up and ready for the next adventure. Greg explained it was a few hours of High Speed travel to Horizontal Falls, so we settled down on the top deck enjoying the breeze and the beautiful countryside.
Horizontal Falls is a popular tourist destination where the operator flies people in for an overnight stay to enjoy the thrills and the scenery.
Greg had radioed ahead so they were ready for us; we were transferred to the Split Second for a journey through two very narrow apertures where the daily tides are delayed and rush through creating steps and whirlpools. Today there was only less than a metre difference as the high tide continued to drain from the closed inlet, but our very speedy circling trip still bumped and spun on the rough water. At king tides there can be a five metre difference between the two bodies of water….. but the tour boats do not go through if the difference is more than a metre!
Our guide took us to see the wild sharks and fish he feeds at the centre. Tawny sharks have sensitive feelers on their noses, so food must touch the feelers before the sharks try to eat it. Shoals of colourful little fish swim with the sharks, plus a few remora …. and a gigantic Queensland Groper lurks in the shadows. The fish are regulars and those with distinguishng features have names. Here five sharks are waiting nose up for a handout!
After our morning thrills we were back to high speed travel until we saw a big disturbance with fish jumping on the water. Chook and Stuart grabbed rods as Greg slowed down, urging them to be quick. Instantly a tuna took Stuart's white fluffy fly, and the battle was on. The rod and line were very light, not designed for tuna, so it took quite a while to tire the fish and bring him in. Greg was anxious to get going, just to add a bit of pressure! Nevertheless the tuna came in and to our surprise was cooked up for lunch.
Raft Point is named after the Aboriginals who were seen here on numerous rafts, perhaps travelling to sacred areas on Montgomery Reef or nearby Steep Island, or perhaps hunting turtles, dugong, fish or rays that abound in the sea. The spectacular Raft Point Bluff is an important site associated with initiation and religious ceremonies of the local Worrorra people.
The main art site at Raft Point is part of a great fish chase series. There is fabulous Wandjina art, showing large Dugong, fish, Wandjinas, crocodiles, snakes, and some much older art of a turtle and sugarbag.
Altogether Raft Point and the Buccaneer Archipelago is a stunning place, spectacular scenery, rich history and amazing art. We camped on Raft Beach for the night, and were surprised to see the Coral Princess slip past us to moor in the bay overnight (out of sight!) so they could offload their 100 passengers next morning to see the artwork. The remote Kimberley does seem a trifle crowded suddenly.