The passengers are divided this morning into two small noisy groups, each with one of the Americans, every person holding forth in turn about the days doings or relating tales from other travels, interspersed with plenty of friendly chyacking (chiacking means good natured bantering) …. and the third group is a few silent people, reading, drawing and sitting on the top deck, allowing the babble of the rabble to pass beneath like a busy highway. What a good thing the Xplorer has space for all of us.
There were three morning attempts at fishing, but only two fish caught …. it seems this cruise is just having poor fishing luck. All our progress is in the homeward direction. We spent a while near the Koolan Mine, so I had plenty of time to observe the systematic removal of the island, trucked away by large tyred vehicles, to the loader …then onto one of three waiting bulk carriers. Apparently the local Worrorra tribe is doing very well on the royalties as their land vanishes into ships.
A small group of us went ashore at Heney Island adjacent to Hell's Gate, where we climbed to the top of the slope to photograph the famous phenomenon. Water rushes through the narrow openings, creating rapids and whirlpools. I captured photos of flowers too …. to be shared later.
I really expected us to continue on through Hell's Gate, but Greg went in the opposite direction, to give us another unexpected thrill. It was our own version of the Horizontal Waterfall! He gunned the motors after making sure we were all seated or well attached to the boat …. so rather like climbing rapids nd skimming waterfalls we bumped and slid through!!! Here is backward view …. yes, we enjoyed it all.
A late afternoon visit to Pascoe Island provided gorgeous photo opportunities …. birds, shells, reef, crocodile tracks, mangroves, setting sun ….
I worked my way back towards the dinghy just ahead of others, so I could take photos without pressure ….Captain Greg was going back early to turn on the desalinator, so I hopped in too …. after taking this photo. It was good to get back first, I had my shower and settled down to look at photos and write the blog!
PS This post is scheduled to go out as we actually arrive home from the trip on Friday afternoon … we are in Darwin this morning where daytime temperatures are around 32 degrees C, but tonight we will land in Canberra with an expected temperature of 7 degrees C. After our drive back home on Friday it will only be slightly warmer, 9 – 16, so we might feel cold for a few days as we readjust!