With Tills safely lodged in doggy day care we made our way to Gantheaume Point for our rendezvous with the Karma IV, a catamaran with a capacity for around 60 passengers. Our meeting time was 8.25am, our destination for today, a lunch date at Eco Bay Resort approximately 100kms south if Broome. We arrived early, and so were among the first to be taken by tender out to the boat. Coffee, tea, water, and jars of ginger and peppermints were available to help ourselves too. A cup of green tea, and a square of ginger to settle our stomachs in case of sea sickness, and we went in search of a place to sit. The nets on the lower deck did look interesting, but I wasn’t sure I’d manage to get out of them, instead we found a nice bollard at the rear of the boat on the upper deck, and settled in for the trip.
We were underway by 9am, leaving behind the various craft anchored in the bay, and the red cliffs bordering Gantheaume.
Shortly after departure the crew came around with trays of cheese and tomato croissants. Having been warned against eating breakfast, we were ready for something by this stage. Yum! Considering they were no doubt prepared and heated in the galley, and knowing how limited most galley kitchens are on board boats, they were exceptional. Hot, light, and crispy, just the way I like them to be. There was a bit of a breeze, so it wasn’t long before they pulled the sail up the huge mast, and we settled back mesmerised by the wake trailing behind the boat.
A whale was breaching on the horizon, but there would be time for following whales and taken photographs on the return journey (at least that was the plan). More food came around. A tray of spinach and ricotta pasties, followed shortly afterwards by a huge platter of warm blueberry and white chocolate muffins, and home made biscuits. Pleased I didn’t eat breakfast….
We sailed into Eco Bay resort around 11.30. The boat anchored offshore and shunted us in by tender. A lovely 2 1/2 hours in the bay, time enough for a short tour of the resort (more about that later), a leisurely lunch and a swim in the bay.
Then back on board for some whale spotting on our return trip. The onboard bar was open, actually it’d been open for the duration of the trip. A few people, obviously with with a better ability to metabolise alcohol than Paul or I have, had made good use of the bar from early in the day. Paul purchased a beer, I was happy with cooled water. The speakers were placed on deck, and ‘fossil rock’ played creating a party atmosphere as we sailed back towards Broome. Being on an open deck with shade sails above us, the music was never too loud. We rocked away to the sounds of (amongst others) AC/DC, Cold Chisel, Springsteen, Queen, and Billy Joel. The crew kept a look out for whales.
A few turtles could be seen swimming by, but no whales. One of the crew climbed the mast for a better view….. yikes! Pleased it was him and not me.
Eventually a whale was spotted. The skipper manoeuvred the boat to a better position – and the whale dived down, never to be seen again. This happened several times. Clearly the whales were in a hurry to complete today’s section of their journey south and weren’t interested in hanging about posing for pesky tourists. It wasn’t for lack of trying that the passengers went home with cameras void of any whale photos. The luck of the draw I guess when photographing wildlife.
A constant supply of food was handed around throughout the afternoon. Lightly toasted Turkish bread with dip, pastries, dumplings, and spring rolls. Lots of food to help soak up the bubbles and beer. Goodness, some people have an amazing ability to consume alcohol without any obvious effect. More than three glasses of bubbles and I would have been asleep, some people would have had more than ten glasses without showing any obvious signs. It had the potential to get messy, but thank goodness, it didn’t. Perhaps the crew were monitoring the signs and pacing people accordingly.
We sailed back into Gantheaume as the sun was resting on the ocean. By the time we were back on solid ground, the sun was long gone, leaving just a strip of colour to say good-bye to the day. What a great way to spend a day, relaxing on the ocean, glorious weather, and even more appreciated because I’m all to aware that most of this country can’t take advantage of such pleasures at the moment. As I’m typing this, the news just out is that NSW recorded 1029 cases of community acquired Delta strain yesterday. In WA we currently have no community transmission, so are free to travel, almost without restriction, anywhere within our own huge state. (Fingers crossed that it stays that way). Who knows if our luck will run out sometime soon. We currently have the freedom and we will make sure we use it. A lovely day out. What a pleasure!