Day 6 Kimberly Cruise 17 May 2014
Vansittart Bay, Western Australia
We again had breakfast in the Outdoor Cafe in the deck. The choice of what to have is difficult but all is magnificently presented.
The crew who serve us in the Cafe, Restaurant and bar, and in fact all the non-exploration/National Geographic staff and Captain, are Philippino. They are all fantastic, friendly, great fun and 'bend over backwards' to ensure our experiences on the boat are faultless. It has an entirely different feel compared with the only other cruise we have been on (the Pacific Dawn). It is smaller therefore has more of a 'family feel', and more personal. We love it!
We continue to ensure we meet all our fellow passengers, sitting with different people for meals. On the exploration tours, in the zodiacs, plane, helicopters and walking tours are further opportunities to get to know different people. Most of them are with professional backgrounds or own their own business. As you will see from the photos, the average age is retirement ages. There is a varying degree of fitness amongst the passengers but those who have mobility challenges have lots of staff to help
them. Some have chosen not to go on the more difficult activities but they have plenty of other opportunities. I think my lovely 88 year old Dad could have come on the trip with us.
Today will be a cultural awareness day in the Vansittart Bay. This Bay is a small remote bay of about 30km2
. The bay features beaches and aircraft wrecks, but the reason for our visit is the Gwion Gwion or Bradshaw art found on Jar Island.
Jar Island was named by an early survey team who found clay jars on the island. These jars were the same type as those used by the Macassans, who travelled down from Indonesia.
We hopped into one of the zodiacs, with its 60hp outboard motor, and traveled to Jar Island. We walked a short distance from the beach to the rocky range.
Throughout the Kimberly there is 1000s of rock art which was identified by a bloke by the name of Bradshaw. Dating the rock art has proved difficult and controversial. The paintings are so old that no pigment actually remains on the rock surface.
The startling aspect of these painting has caused some to
think that there was a race of inhabitants before aboriginals!!! One of the reasons some think this is that boats are included in the rock art and the carbon dating of these is 50,000 years old. This dating has been done on the fossilized Mud Wasp nests. Where does that leave Marbo?
We went into 3 different 'rock art galleries' in caves.
We then went back to the boat to have lunch.
In the afternoon, we did a walking tour around Vansittart Bay. We found salt/mud flats and lakes on the way to the Japanese aircraft wreck. When this plane went down, apparently the pilot was way off course and ran out of fuel. This was fortunate in a way because on impact the plane did not explode. The pilot had a chance to radio he was in trouble but he couldn't tell the receiver of his may-day, where he was. It was several days before they were found. All on board the plane were OK.
We then went back on the Orion. Each afternoon there is afternoon tea and trivia. We are with a group who do OK with the answers but have not come
At 6.30pm we had a recap and briefing by the Expedition Team. Dinner was then served in the Restaurant. It had been another wonderful day. The weather has been hot but pretty good. The evenings have been amazing - balmy with a gentle breeze. it is beautiful.
Tot: 2.725s; Tpl: 0.057s; cc: 23; qc: 81; dbt: 0.0991s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb