We are continually being reminded this is an ‘Expedition’ not a cruise but we still seem to have the same level of comfort albeit no pool to blob in. Staff to manage our rooms and more staff to feed us all the food they possibly can!!
The name of the game here is get out in the Zodiacs and adventure into the wilderness and we have been doing that well.
Monday morning we were briefed on what was to be a climb up a trail to see the ‘Wadjina’ paintings - seems they are repainted every year by the Aboriginal elders - the theory is that it keeps the Wadjina spirits alive but I’m fairly sure it’s to keep giving the tourists something to see!! A fairly hefty climb up of which 80 of the 95 on board made it to the top including our trusty selves. Hot and thirsty work but a couple of spectacular views looking backwards on the upward trail. And oh yes, there were some paintings to see at the top.
Injured my knee coming down but a fellow passenger has given me the good old voltaren gel to rub in last night and I did the same this morning - still sore but I can cope!
The tides here are enormous as you might see but some of the photos I have uploaded to Facebook (sorry Rod, link attached.)
Our timings to visit everything are based on tides so our zodiacs scramble ashore in the mornings to find a suitable landing spot near where we are going then radio back that advice to the other ‘zodiac drivers’ as they are called. We all were briefed early in the piece on how to get in and out of the boats using the ‘sailors grip’, handing bags over first and where to step then where to sit - basically, do as you’re told!!! All very safety conscious though which is a good thing.
Once back on board it was almost time for lunch so we upped anchor and headed off to Montgomery Reef.
As the literature reads, it is a’true spectacle to behold’. With the huge tides and a huge reef, the water on the ebbing tide literally puts off and cascades off the reef in enormous volumes creating it’s own cascades and waterfalls as it does so. Our zodiac driver had a GPS locator and used it to work his way up the ‘river’ which at high tide was all covered and within the next hour or 2 we were literally ‘in the river’. Absolutely amazing!! Montgomery Reef is Australia’s largest inshore reef some 80kms long and over 270km square. The volume of water flowing as the tide was going out is hard to fathom.
Heading back to the ship on sunset we stopped and took a couple of spectacular photos of the sunset. Have done some amazing sunrise and sunset photos so far - haven’t quite labelled all of them yet on Facebook photo album but will get there!!!