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Published: June 22nd 2017
Horizontal Falls by Satellite
Talbot Bay is actually the large bay north of the "star" marker.
Geo: -16.3694, 123.966
For me, the Horizontal Falls were one of the main attractions of the cruise. There are two large bodies of water that are landlocked, except for a narrow opening connecting them, and a wider opening connecting one to the sea (Talbot Bay). These openings are too narrow to allow the large tides unimpeded flow, so the water backs up and becomes a horizontal waterfall. We were there for about three hours after low tide and the difference in water heights between Talbot Bay and the first 'lake' was about 1m. We did not go through the second falls as this gap was quite narrow and our Zodiac only had a 40hp motor; not powerful enough to safely cross. It was an exciting experience but I had been expecting a waterfall drop of several metres and so was a little disappointed.
There was a larger tourist boat that was permanently stationed at the falls and associated with a helipad, accommodation pontoons and sea plane moorings. This boat had triple 300hp outboards and it powered through both waterfalls with ease.
After lunch we looked at some interesting geological formations - the uniformly horizontal sedimentation in the Kimberley plateau becomes much more tortured near
Horizontal Falls at slack tide
The Coral Princess normally has two Zodiacs but they wrecked one on the previous cruise (not at the falls) and we made do with one. The driver took four of us at a time through the falls. We all made two trips, once when the tide had just turned, and then another later on when the falls were building. The second, narrower gap can be seen in the distance.
its edges. We also looked at the Iron Islands and the iron ore mine at Koolan Island. The ore deposits here are very rich but the mine(s) do seem out of place in an area becoming famous for eco-tourism.
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