Top End Trip!
Day 29 to 40 Scott Reef to Cape York
Leaving Scott Reef on the night of Day 28 with a spectacular tangerine sunset, I stayed on the fly-bridge well after dusk to bid the reef my fond farewell and to remember deeply the sights of this beautiful place until we next visit. Scott Reef holds a special place in my heart, alongside the wild and beautiful Kimberley. I am so grateful we have been able to experience these places so wonderfully and meaningfully.
Heading towards Darwin, we travelled a favoured route past productive Heywood Shoals where we always see amazing biological activity. Sure enough, the acoustics indicated Brydes’ whales in the area with their characteristic calls and using our great software we honed in on them.
The acoustics won hands down, as these whales had very tiny subtle blows and were barely visible unless very close-by.
In Darwin we re-supplied with fuel and food, spending five days in this terrific, tropical city. I love Darwin and enjoy the kindness of the locals and was intrigued with the number of young Irish people behind all the counters. They are running the service industries, good for them! I like their accent!
On Day 37 we departed Darwin heading northwards with wonderful Dwarf spinner dolphins and then into the Arafura Sea to the east north of Arnhem Land towards the Gulf of Carpentaria. The wind increased and the cetacean sightings slowed… to nil…
Rounding Cape York, the most NE point in Australia, at just after 3 in the morning we then began our southern transit down the east coast to our destination of Jervis Bay. Captain Cook claimed Possession Island for the Brits on August 22, 1770. This was indeed a very significant occasion for the destiny of our nation. Given the number of French explorers, we could well have been speaking French instead of English.
The islands to the north during this transit were most alluring and with each night watch I had to keep a steady hand on our designated course, rather taking us northward to the multitude of island in PNG and Indonesia. One day, we will venture this way… I can hardly wait!