We had an easy run over to the Southern Group with light winds and smooth seas. We started with a beautiful scenic cruise past Jackson, Foale, Carburg and the Nook Islands and decided to head all the way down to Pelsaert Island. We ate from the Eco gourmet salad bar and walked off our lunch on Pelsaert Island. We were fortunate to experience some great birdwatching, shipwreck stories and Sea Lion action. One being exactly where we land and to be honest, we weren’t that keen to ask him to move as he was a massive Bull Sea Lion. After some photos he didn’t move an inch, life of a Sea Lion. An afternoon stop over at Basille Island & coffee with the lads and a swim with the local Samson Fish was the afternoon agenda. Wash it down with a glass of your choice, not bad for a “travel” day.
The day started of a with a successful pot pull, we managed 15 crays even when we were soaking 4 brand new pots. We then headed over for a morning walk on Coronation Island then morning tea with Steve’s Crayfish pies back on board before we headed over to Post Office Island for the first time this year. Our passengers got to meet the incredible woman, Jane Liddon and her family. Jane showed us step by step how the Abrolhos Pearl is cultivated & invited us into her camp on the other side of a horse shoe island. While she took a dingy across the lagoon, we took the scenic route where we walked past many picturesque parts of the Island such as the whale bone toilet, sandalwood point and the cyclone shelter just to name a few. After spending too much time at Janes Pearl gallery inside her camp, I had to do the guys a favour by dragging the wives out, the blokes wallets were getting lighter by the minute, we had to save some Jewellery for next week. All back on board we up’d anchor and headed for Morley Island at Easter group. When we got there, Big Al went fishing til sunset and we frolicked and snorkelled with Sea Lions. All in all another magical day with the locals.
Another successful bag out with crays for the pot pulling crew while the rest of us were catching fish off the back deck in the morning. We knew the fish were on the bite so we sent Al off in search of Baldies and Snapper while we went off to stretch our legs on Leos Island. To our amazement Al & his group of Guests beat the shore party back to the boat because they bagged out in the fishing department. When everyone was back on board we headed to the Anemone Lump for the first time this season to snorkel with the Coral Trouts and Spangled Emperors. We got everyone back on board in a hurry, Big Al went one way with some more fishers and we headed over to Rat Island where we dropped them off at Murrys Pearl Hatchery. The Eco headed over to Little Sandy where we dropped the anchor near some fishing ground. The area was alive, right next to us we had birds and tuna jumping right out of the water, schooling up some bait fish. Sure enough the crew couldn’t resist and were flicking lures off the side right into the middle. No hits but it was good fun trying. We rendezvoused with the majority and had sunset drinks ashore on Little Sandy with the Sea Lions. The passengers enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean.
Another day, another pot pull, another bag. We headed North where we walked on the Island of Angry Ghosts in the Wallabi group. After hearing Jay’s spooky ghost stories, the passengers were ready to make the most of the good weather so we sent them in to snorkel the wreck of the Batavia! Not every day we get to do so but with the conditions we make the most of it. While we were having lunch, the Eco relocated to Big Pidgeon so we could finish off the Batavia trifecta. Beacon Island (Island of Angry Ghosts), The wreck of the Batavia and Webbie Hayes fort. We sent a small contingent of adventurers to the fort while Al took some people fishing to try their luck again. While we were ashore on West Wallabi checking out Webbie Hayes fort we spotted a Carpet Python curled up right next to the fresh water well. Paul managed to locate one of the biggest fresh water holes at the Abrolhos which Howard Grey had shared with us on the previous trip. Very impressive, can nearly have a comfortable bath in it but we didn’t have time for that, we had a Sunday Session to go to at the Big Pidgeon Hall. No better way to finish.
We woke up to a beautiful sunrise on the Indian Ocean which was the sign to pull the anchor and to head to one of our favourite spots Turtle Bay. We sent the explorers ashore where they walked the White Bellied Sea Eagle Track and saw some different types of Skinks along the way. With a beach comb and a snorkel our passengers were satisfied for early departure on smooth seas all the way back to Geraldton.
Another successful trip on the Eco Abrolhos.
From the Bridge Deck
– Bronson Cox