Day 10 - May 11, 2014 - Yampi Sound
By Andy Marshall, General Naturalist
Weather: Sunny with slight breeze
Temperature: 25-35 degrees Celsius
Pressure: 1014 hPa
Wind : 0-5 knots
We woke up this morning to perfectly calm conditions with a mirror-like sea. The combination of still air and the low tides meant the visibility into the water was amazing. This was soon to play into our hands as we enjoyed breakfast and anticipated our last Zodiac expedition of the voyage.
As we headed off into these turquoise waters of Yampi Sound we soon came across a group of inshore bottlenose dolphins in a glorious mood. They were socialising and milling on the surface and we all had some incredible interactions. Yampi Sound is part of a geological boundary in the Kimberley so the beautiful examples of folding in the sandstone were amazing to see, including some excellent examples of both synclines and anticlines. Ospreys were seen flying overhead scanning for their morning breakfast. Sooty Oystercatchers and Reef Egrets were also seen looking for food on the rocks close to the water’s edge. Some of us were also lucky enough to have an encounter with the local resident Australian snubfin dolphin.
In Yampi Sound Cockatoo and Koolan Island are mined for their high grade haematite. The two mines which are now being mined below sea level were seen in action throughout the morning and large cargo ships were anchored in the bay waiting their turn to load the iron ore to be exported overseas.
The great cruise in the morning led into a wonderful lunch so we could refuel ourselves for the afternoon’s activities. Boarding the Zodiacs again, we headed up to Crocodile Creek swimming hole. The area was originally used as a place of respite for the miners on Cockatoo Island in the 60’s. The waterhole, which can be filled with seawater on high spring tides, was easy to access due to the neap tides experienced today. Everyone took the chance to cool off in the crystal clear waters and with the crew of Silver Discoverer setting up a bar it was time to relax with a cool drink.
We all agreed it had been another special and unique day in the Kimberley and the ideal way to celebrate this voyage and start to reflect on all the wonderful experiences and sights we had shared together. Our memories were triggered in this regard by the showing of the Voyage DVD early in the evening, and it was incredible to contemplate just how much we had done in the previous days together.
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