Waking on turtle beach we realised there had been no turtle visitors during the night. Instead there was a teeny tiny Orange-naped Snake caught in a turtle scrape, looking rather frustrated as we crowded around with cameras. Bob, our retired national parks ranger, helped the little snake out.
Today is supposed to be all day on the boat, and possibly sleeping on board tonight too. Fortunately there are plenty of comfortable places for all twelve passengers, either below, out the back or on the flybridge.
I am sitting at the long table beside the galley as breakfast moves into coffee and toast, getting something down while we are at anchor.
The morning beach was sandy, with plenty of crab holes and pretty shells. We are halfway through the cruise, and have no idea what day of the week it is, or even what date it is! I just asked Karen, who looked at her wrist and told me this is 17th June.
We had a long day of travel to reach Prince Regent Sound, so we were all keen to see the chart …. Greg pointing out our route and surmising about tide times and what we might actually do … it all depends on conditions and who else is in the area.
As we progressed Greg began to tell stories of his adventures, both living with the local aboriginal people years ago, and his early years of taking passengers on cruises in a smaller boat called White Lightning. They were hilarious, told in his classic laconic Australian accent.
We entered St Georges Basin, by a special sneaky route only suitable for smaller boats and experienced skippers, continued into Prince Regent River, and encountered the two boats that were already there … fortunately leaving this afternoon. K2O and True North are much larger that the Kimberley Xplorer ….although K2O is still less than luxury. We saw a helicopter take off fromTrue North (they pay $500 per person for that) to go over Camp Creek, where we will be spending the next two nights. Somehow we felt so very privileged to be in our small group on our small boat.
Seeing the other boats Greg thundered on towards Kings Cascade, passing beautiful mangroves and glorious country. Then he slowed right down, and gradually crept into the fabulous falls. He casually asked if anyone wanted a shower …. and delicately eased us closer to the falls …. three of us leapt to the bow, others stepped back to protect their camera, but before I knew it we were soaked and laughing under the mighty falls.
It was the most tremendous fun, and gradually others joined in ….. until all the photographers and showerers had finished, and Greg slowly took us back into the Prince Regent River to enjoy the sunset.
This was our first night camping on the boat, ready for the early morning run with the tide, into Camp Creek and Greg's favourite camping spot.