There she blows! There she blows!
Trip Start Oct 31, 2013
14Trip End May 01, 2014
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Quobba blowholes were great fun – you could get right up to them – in fact there were a group of kids standing over the smaller ones getting wet in strange places! Trying to time them for the camera was impossible so we just took a lot of photos and hoped for the best – John did well!!
We didn't go to Point Quobba last year as it’s a bit of a diversion - 50+ Km each way. Our Camp book said there was a paying site, but in fact there were no rangers about so we didn’t have to pay. Quobba turned out to be great so we stayed a couple of nights camped against the beach again, alongside a bay which is the best swimming spot we’ve come across
Our next stop, Coral Bay, is famous for swimming and snorkelling but although it’s the beginning of the Coral Reef it didn’t suit us as well because the water was so cold! However we walked around the bay and found the Shark Nursery (we did read your journal Mike and Gill) in Skeleton Bay – shallow water which is a safe haven for young Reef Sharks (harmless – mostly!)
From there another diversion to Exmouth – gateway to Cape Range NP and the Ningaloo Reef. We stayed here last year (Dear Mr Milton – Paradise has been found) and camped in the NP, but this year we had less time and a different agenda – Turtles! It’s egg laying season……… During the day you can spot the turtles swimming off shore but at night they drag themselves up the beach to dig pits and lay eggs. They are very susceptible to disturbance so we went to the Jurabi Turtle Centre for an educational session. We learned the code 'stop, drop, rock’ and it really did work. We walked quietly along the shore (a group of us) and almost immediately saw a turtle leaving the water ahead. We stopped, dropped to the sand and behaved like rocks. You have never seen a group of people so still and quiet! We were so still and quiet that soon we had turtles either side of us and one trying to get past us. The only problem is that turtles aren't quick so we spent a couple of hours being rocks, but we did actually get to view a turtle digging a nest and laying her eggs. Amazing. Photos not allowed.
You would think from our travels in Australia that John and I are a couple of beach bums – we seem to be constantly on or near the coast
We had arranged to spend Christmas in Karratha – a town developed in the 60’s to house mining workers. The people we are house-sitting for are in Bali for Christmas – he is a roofer, which in this heat seems masochistic to me. We fancied something different this year and thought the experience of living this far north in the summer would be interesting. We travelled there in a tremendous storm – all around was thunder and lightning with localised very heavy downpours. We camped in a Rest Area and more or less drove the van into a bush as protection from the wind, which was rocking us so much that we dropped the pop-top when we went to bed!
The house is 18 months old, single storey, spacious and built for the heat – air con and pool
Then came Christine – a Category 3 cyclone. Apparently the Pilbarra coast gets more tropical cyclones than any other part of Australia so there are a series of alerts in order that people are prepared. You have to tidy up, tie down and make sure you have food and water. If and when it reaches Red Alert – this was after about 3 days – that’s it and you have to stay in. Not ‘advised’ to stay in but instructed, and you can be fined significant amounts if you go out before the all clear is given. This, along with other protective measures, has given us food for philosophical discussions (as we had plenty of time!). Despite the severity of the storm there were no deaths or injuries; compared with the toll in the UK’s recent storms it makes you think! Our modern house is "built to code" and we felt very safe. Karratha was close to the eye and was badly hit, and there was widespread damage to trees and buildings.
There she blew!
(Apologies to those expecting whale stories!)