Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beautiful Shark Bay

Zofia, Urchin, Kokomo V and The Doctor in Shelter Bay, Shark Bay

At last, I can see glimpses of why we are doing this. Inside the protected waters of Shark Bay the sun at last shone and the winds dropped. The four yachts that travelled from the Abrolhos through Steep Point, the gateway into Shark Bay, dropped anchor in the closest available anchorage in order to rest, recuperate and calm frazzled nerves after a horrible overnighter. Shelter Bay, despite its name isn't the best of anchorages due to the strong tidal flows, but did we care? Nope. We were here, safe and the boat at last was still. Zofia, Urchin, Kokomo V and The Doctor nestled in the bay, a little flock of lost lambs safe from the gnashing teeth of the angry ocean.
We enjoyed the companionship of those who have shared an adventure and nights were spent sharing wine, food and stories. One of the joys of cruising I now remember is the immediacy of friendships that are made, some that last for years, some that are no less valuable for lasting for only a day or two. Sometimes connections are made beyond the moment, and the band of intrepid sailors agreed to meet again back in Perth to relive the moment and to share new stories.
Shark Bay continued to delight, and I could tell that Rob was thinking less and less of selling the boat and toying with the idea of caravaning. As we moved northwards we found pleasant beautiful anchorages and started to relax into the true cruising mode. It is amazing how mild weather, a swim off the boat and a sweet little Queensland Schooling Mackeral baked in the oven washed down with cold white wine can buoy the spirts.
Rob had been having a go at me for insisting on taking the surf ski along, lashed to the deck. Cape Peron was just the place to justify its presence. The sun was warm, the water blue and clear and the picturesque red cliffs overlooking the bay would be a great back drop to some exercise and a break from the boat. Rob stayed aboard to make some bread and I slid the surf ski into the water and paddled over to Kokomo to see if Karen wanted to join me. As I waited for her, a family of six or so dolphins came to play. They circled and dived under and around the ski, all taking turns to have a good look. There were mothers and babies and one, a big grand mama with a scarred and notched fin who seemed to be overseeing proceedings. I wondered if they would knock me off the surf ski, but that was just a fleeting thought and I enjoyed what was a rare and wonderful moment.
Shark Bay is a protected marine environment and the marine life flourishes everywhere. Later on our paddle Karen and I met a curious turtle and gave a wide birth to a small yellow and black striped sea snake. I think the ski has earned its keep, don't you?

Cape Peron, Shark Bay

Rob's bread is always a creative master piece! Unorthodox, but yummy.

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