Thursday, March 19, 2015

Clearing up some Kimberley confusion

Correction: green, orange, white and turquoise, not blue. It's the Indian Ocean still up here on Australia's north-western tip, and it's warm and gentle and glowingly turquoise. Blue is just too cold a colour.

We flew here, an hour out of Broome, in a seaplane that circled over the famous Horizontal Falls before landing in a cloud of spray to taxi up to where the Kimberley Quest, my home for the next three nights, was moored alongside the Horizontal Falls Adventures houseboat. I'd heard a lot about the Falls, and never quite understood how they worked - but now I do, having seen them from above by plane and helicopter, and shot through them many times in a powerful boat. Up here they have huge tides, you see - up to 11 metres - and the Falls are actually the gaps in the range that lead to two flooded valleys. The gaps are too small to keep up with the flow of water, so when the tide rises or falls, which of course is all the time, there's a difference in the water levels each side and hence a kind of waterfall, up to 4 metres high, leading to much swirling, and some pretty impressive whirlpools. Here:
The sea life here is restricted to shooting through in the very few minutes of relatively calm water at the top and bottom of the tide; but Aussies in motor boats? Not so much. So we bumped and revved and shimmied our way through back and forth, which was all pretty exciting.
But that's not all! There was fishing at sunset WHEN NO-ONE CAUGHT A BARRA (my previous experience of fish in Australia, on the ends of lines or on a plate, has been exclusively of the barramundi, so I've come to doubt that there's any other variety in these waters). This time there were 5 mangrove Jacks, one of them mine caught on a lure with an undemanding "egg-beater" rod. Then there was the feeding of the local tawny nurse sharks back at the boat when the fish were gutted - "I've known a man have his hand shredded doing that," was the comment as Brad hung over the water swirling the fish frames. And then, after dinner, there was an astronomy session which started with cloud and hardly any stars, and ended with a sky full of them, plus a meteor, with lightning flickering around the edges.
There was also this lovely boat, lots of food, friendly people and tons of interesting things to learn. Too much for one post. Come back tomorrow.

1 comment:

Forzest said...

Truly amazing! Thanks for sharing



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