2020 Aus When will we Four Meet Again
Where and when will we Four Meet Again?
Although we plan to leave Australia at similar times, Jeremy and Kathy, who are now moored off Carnarvon with the intention of making an appointment with Border Force to clear out at the end of August will have a distance of only around 100 miles less than us to Cocos, 1200 miles away, when we set off from Fremantle. It would be nice to think we will meet up there but our yachts may find different weather conditions on route and if one of us is in Cocos with a good weather window to jump onto the conveyor belt ride across the centre of the Indian Ocean they will not be waiting for the other boat. But we will meet again sometime and somewhere I am sure.
So we enjoyed chatting for an hour over coffee and dark fruit cake before waving them off once more and embarking on our own tour of the area for the rest of the day.
First stop was Eagles’ Bluff where despite our not seeing any passing Sharks, Turtles, Dolphins or Dugongs the views were lovely on the warm and still day. On the road back to Denham we spotted the Emu and visited Ocean Park Aquarium which was a sound venture using fresh seawater pumped straight from Shark Bay. Our enthusiastic guide was very upbeat and keen and most of the creatures in there are on brief loan from the nearby sea, just for the likes of us to view and learn about.
At Monkey Mia back in the early 1960’s a woman started to feed the local dolphins on her way back from fishing trips with her husband. This has become a local attraction where people can arrive at the Reserve around 7.30 am each day, (we heard the exodus leaving our camp early that morning) pay the $15 entrance fee and join the crowd standing in the shallows hoping the dolphins will arrive for their titbits, so the viewers can get a close up view. A while back it was found that the survival rate of the baby dolphins was dropping and so now the parents who venture in close to the crowd and cannot be with their young in this short time are given no more than 10% of their daily intake of food, thus keeping them in hunting mode. Since then the numbers have improved.
I felt uneasy about all of this and I would not have been amongst that crowd in the shallows. We arrived mid-afternoon, three hours after the dolphins were likely to visit and the intelligent young lad at the entrance waived the fee for us, partly because the pass we had for the National Park on the other side of the fence was not applicable in this Reserve. We wandered around, saw a few dolphins swimming languidly beyond the moored yachts, when I came across the poster about the father Emu and his chicks. This area is where emus have lived for thousands of years so understandably this father was fearful of man’s arrival and the building of the Reserve, along with its campsite and resort hotel. We all know Emu’s are temperamental and can be very dangerous so when he came into the public area with his chicks his behaviour was challenging and predictable and the staff decided he should be relocated. The result of that effort was that the Emu and his chicks died. So the staff, instead of conceding this was because of the error of intrusion in the first place, then blame the same people they have invited along here to spend their money, for feeding the Emu. When will we learn that encroaching upon and feeding wild animals in their natural habitat is never good for them whether they be dolphin, emu or anything else. Ok, beef over and at least the dolphins can escape and don’t have to turn up in the first place.
On our way back to camp we happened upon a little car park with a cliff to its left hand side and decided to go exploring. I clambered up to the top of the rise and looked down on Sal Daraga and the point we reached last evening on our beach walk. I also found some tracks, one of which is a wallaby, possibly the feller in the photo and it was fun to think it may have been looking down on us the night before.
Errata: Apologies for calling Tristan by the incorrect name of Travis in a previous blog about the gas bottle. Also using the word ‘two’ instead of ‘too’ in the Facebook intro.