Day 9 |
May 20, 2014

Cruising the Timor Sea, en route to Indonesia

By Juan Carlos Restrepo, Geologist
Co-ordinates: 010° 11.5’ S 124° 19.0’ E
Weather: Sunny with scattered clouds
Air Temperature: 30ºC
Pressure: 1020 hPa
Wind: 10 knots

After eight busy and exciting days in the Kimberley region of north Western Australia we are now crossing the Timor Sea on our way to Indonesia. Our time in the Kimberley has been, in my opinion, most successful. We accomplished everything we set out to do and saw everything we wanted to see. Personally, this was a wonderful discovery for me, since it was my first time in this part of the world – a rugged and very remote part of Australia famous for its untamed beauty and wonderful scenery and geology.

I had been hearing my friends talk about the Kimberley for years and I must say that my expectations were quite high before arriving -always a risk when one travels, but in this case they were all met and exceeded. I look forward to the next opportunity I have of exploring this fascinating corner of Australia.

Facing a day at sea we took advantage of the opportunity to enhance our onboard educational program with a series of lectures. The first one was given by Malcolm Turner and entitled “CSI Kimberley”. This entertaining and interactive session could be described as a “Whodunit” lecture-quiz.

At 11 am, Expedition Leader Mick Fogg presented his “Footprints on a Forgotten Land”. Mick entertained our guests with a tumultuous tale of discovery, conquest, betrayal, bloodshed, mapping and mutiny on the northern Australian coastline.

A delicious lunch was followed by Greg Calvert talking about the “History of the Hamburger”. This peculiar lecture was a biological and historical examination of the humble hamburger -quite interesting and informative. A story we normally don´t stop to think about.

And then it was my turn to lecture on the Geology of this fascinating part of the world. I started with a recap on the main geological features we had been enjoying during our days in the Kimberley, followed by a Geology one on one, entitled “Geology Rocks”. I started this presentation by introducing some key concepts of geology that allowed me to better explain the origins and particulars of the Geology of Indonesia. A geological mecca, so to speak. Indonesia is the country in the world with the highest number of active volcanoes -129 in total. I could not pass the opportunity to introduce this important element of the natural history of the islands we are going to visit, before our disembarkation day in Bali.

At 6 pm we invited our guests once again to the Explorers Lounge for our daily Recap & Briefing. Mick gave an introduction on the particulars of travel around Indonesia and explained our plans for tomorrow in Sabu, before passing the microphone on to our photographer Ray Stranagan, who presented a clip of the DVD movie he is putting together for this voyage.

And then at 7 pm our Executive Chef Pia and Restaurant Manager Robert delighted us with yet another delicious dinner. An exciting day tomorrow as we arrive in Indonesia. I can feel the exhilaration in the air!