It's not a good time for fishing, the pelicans are still asleep

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November 17th 2009
Published: November 18th 2009
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Day 205 - Kalbarri

Ever had a ‘nightmare’ that you have recollection of? Well that’s what happened to me this morning! When I opened my eyes and said good morning to Darryl he responded with “Are you alright after your midnight crocodile attack?” Apparently I’d sat upright, lifted the quilt and was looking at my feet yelling “No, No”!! This was all news to me and I’ve got no idea what prompted it, as far as I was concerned I’d had a good nights sleep. Maybe Darryl was dreaming!

We treated ourselves to a quick breakfast this morning before heading out along the coastal road in the direction of Bluff Point. There are several options for walking along the cliffs, the longest section is 8km one way but we’ve got no method to avoid turning it into a 16km return! Forgive us Jane for we are being a wee bit lazy!

Natural Bridge is our first stop off and from here we get a birds eye view of the coastal range in all its glory. It’s a great day for doing walks like this, it’s not too breezy and the sky is a very complementary colour to the Indian Ocean, beautiful blues all round.

There are lots of lookouts along the cliff tops, many of them are interlinked with boardwalks or sand tracks. It’s great to see an area being so well managed with excellent facilities, a lot of money has obviously been spent here to enable our walk today.

The view over Natural Bridge is awesome and we can see a group of dolphins in the water below us, they must be fishing for breakfast but are doing things differently to those we saw so close to the beach at Francois Peron. It looks like they are working as a team and surrounding the fish in the water then diving for breakfast, it’s fascinating to watch.

Island Rock is only a short walk away so we meander down there and we meet some familiar faces at the lookout, the same couple who talked to us at Nature’s Window yesterday - the parents of Jenny who is doing the ironman competition. Lovely to see them again and when they found out we’d taken the time to seek out the donation website they were delighted, as were we.

Not long after they leave us looking out to sea we spot another pod of dolphins but this time the pod must be 20 to 30 strong and seems to include an albino. Neither of us have ever seen anything like it before, not over here or anywhere else. It’s amazing to watch and we’re transfixed for ages. When they finally dive out of sight we walk along to yet another lookout and this time are delighted to spot what we assume were a couple of tail ender humpback whales. Usually September is the last time to see these magnificent creatures during their annual migration but we guess that someone has to be last and these guys could be it! We’re a fair way off shore but Darryl’s single eyed binocular, which cost us £5 from the M&S Christmas bargain bucket a few years ago, is sensational for getting a fix on the whales and we can clearly see them motoring through the waves. Awesome.

We’ve been up here for what seems like hours already, good job we left early again, so decide to walk back to the car and head off to the next section of coastline but before we get very far we spot the pod of dolphins again! This time I run back to the car for the bigger camera lens hoping that it helps just a little bit to get a clearer shot and memory! It’s just stunning to watch this group working together, diving together and consequently eating together!

Finally we managed to drag ourselves away and travelled down the coast to the Shellhouse and Grandstand lookouts, they too give spectacular views over the ocean but this time we just get a good look at the inordinate amount of lobster pots that have been put out by the fishermen for this the first day in the lobster catching calendar!

It’s from here that we could have started the 8km one way walk but to be fair we’ve experienced such sensational marine life already we’re not sure if we would have been able to top it!

Eagle Bluff was another great lookout and Pot Alley too which had the added bonus of a trip down to a secluded beach, one that we might come back to for a bit of snorkelling before our time here is up.

The nature trail between Rainbow Valley and Mushroom Rock was 3 kms of great walking, the scenery here is terrific and gives you a good look at the colourful, layered rock plus a lower look at the coastline. You could get some really dramatic photographs down here if you took the time, sunset especially would be great. We might have to drag Nige (Elliott) down here when they arrive!

With all the walking between the lookouts we’ve probably covered nearly 8kms so we managed to get our quota in but the stop offs weren’t over yet! We still had a visit to Red Bluff where a great wander gives us a fabulous view over the bays. Jenny’s (ironman comp!) Mum had told us she was pleased they’d been on the sunset cruise which takes you out to Red Bluff and gives you an appreciation of the other side of the view - ocean to coast. We doubt we’ll take the opportunity but we appreciated the tip off. Down below us we can see fishermen trying their luck, we’ve yet to test ours here but the day is still young. And then there was yet another huge pod of dolphins, this coastline is truly amazing.

Snorkelling is always pretty high on our agenda and we very much hope to have a go here. We check out the beach off Blue Holes as we’ve seen it written somewhere that this is a good spot and to prove it we find there are already people snorkelling here. We should have really rushed in to join them but stupidly I’d not brought my swimmers with me - doh! Something else to leave for another day.

We had our lunch at Chinaman Beach, a nice place where a tour group was enjoying a chilly swim in the rather chilly ocean! We’re surprised to see a woman in the water in snorkelling gear but carrying a fish net. That gives her a bit of an unfair advantage surely, perhaps we should try that!

As we venture back to the caravan park we decide to check out the river road which runs, we presume, along the Murchison River. In our new driving deal, I am at the wheel as we undertake this road to somewhere! The view isn’t overly impressive but that’s not to say it isn’t nice, it’s just that we’ve been somewhat spoilt with our coastal scenery this morning! We travel along for quite a while, there are a few tracks going off but they’re very sandy and the track becomes extremely rough with ruts and pot holes galore. We turn around and head back deciding that it’s time for that spot of fishing!

We pop into the bait shop for some ‘fish food’ and whilst we’re choosing a tasty snack (for the fish) a chap checking out the tide times says that it probably isn’t a good time to go fishing because the pelicans are still asleep! He’s got a point we guess, if they can’t be bothered then it suggests there’s not much doing but in for a cent in for a dollar, we purchase some prawn and away we go.

Down on the river bank Darryl finds a floating pontoon as a good fishing base for the afternoon. Meanwhile I find some rather interesting Pelicans and then settle down to a good read of my current book. We’re very happy all round despite coming away empty handed, it’s all good experience.

We’re huddled away in the caravan for the evenings at the moment, the weather is turning a bit but it’s better to have the wind and the rain during the evenings than during the day! Hopefully it will blow itself out soon and before we get down to Perth!

Blimey, I nearly forgot to tell you what Darryl cooked for dinner! How would you ever sleep? Well it was our new favourite Thai Green Curry and luckily enough there’s leftovers for tomorrow!

That’s all from us on the WA coast, hope you’re all well where ever you are.

Dar and Sar

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18th November 2009

I was just reading about what Darryl cooked for dinner but had half an eye on the bug photo and it brought an interesting picture to mind!!! Your albino dolphin set me thinking about the white whales we saw in Canada so I've just checked and they were Belugas and not like dolphins at all. Mum K xxx (PS I can hear Graham trying to tempt Tiger into playing with a new toy we bought her but without too much success probably! You can probably guess that it is raining here so we can't get out in the garden!)

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