With 3 knots of wind we left port to an amazing red sunrise and steamed for Southern Group. Straight to Pelsaert Island, 50% of our passengers were mad keen “twitchers”. With a good dose of ship wreck history we were off to see what birds we could spot. I walk that Island once a week and we always find something new that’s washed ashore. It’s a great beachcombers spot amongst everything else. Just as we finished the walk the clouds come over us an obvious sign of deteriorating weather so we were off! Off to our sturdy mooring on Rat Island. There was a cold front brewing down south and the winds were expected to pick up later that night. We arrived at our mooring and no surprise someone had the same idea as us. With a quick “polite” call on the radio to beat it, we were safely tucked up on our mooring. Being Easter weekend meant increased traffic and it looked like the Rottnest flotilla had arrived. We tried to call one of the boats to tell him “having the reef 5m behind you isn’t a good idea”. We couldn’t raise them on the radio so we had to wait and see what the following morning would bring us after the predicted overnight blow.
We woke up to the sight of the mono hull we tried to call, washed up on the reef. While Big Al was having a bag out of crayfish with only 3 pots, we had front row seats for the recovery mission and to our amazement they nearly ended up on the rocks again straight after getting pulled off. In their defence the weather wasn’t pleasant but that’s why you save your dollars from buying a boat and come with the professionals. After assisting in the recovery we headed off to Morley Island where we went ashore to see the elusive Lesser Noddy and see if we could find some Sea Lions. Afterwards the passengers donned a wetsuit and went for a snorkel, nothing was stopping them from making the most of it. Being Good Friday we were trying to catch some fish off the back deck after this morning’s crayfish for lunch. We headed back to the sanctuary of our mooring and sent the passengers ashore to Little Sandy where they broke the Sea Lion record with 16. Throw in some Tattlers, Terns and Cormorants. While they were nature spotting we were setting up the top deck for some bubbles, Indian Ocean Sunset and some smoked Pink Snapper wings and frames. What a way to warm up when a cold front passes over.
We were up early this morning to send Big Al and the King Diver to go pull the pots as we had an early departure to head back to Southern Group to catch up with Jane Liddon, Peter and Nino. We started off at Post Office Island to see Jane, the family and the locals. Where our passengers were razzle dazzled by Jane and Mikayla’s beautiful Jewellery, after a spend up we came on board for lunch. Without a rest we were off on another adventure to Bassille Island to see the locals there and to see what sort of vibe there was before Easter Sunday. We finished the day off cruising back to Easter group with a beautiful scenic watching the waves crash on the reef south of Wooded Island. Coming through we saw dolphins, tuna and birds schooling up bait fish. The full moon rise that night was a cracker!
After getting clued up on the Batavia the night before we headed North to Wallabi Group. With trialling conditions and tides we still managed to get everyone ashore and enjoyed checking out the first European settlement which is Webbie Hayes Fort. Back on board for lunch and we headed over to Long Island for an afternoon snorkel and a walk. As it was later in the afternoon we were lucky enough to see the coral pullups feeding. As we were walking along we took advantage of the low tide and put back some oysters. With the sun setting we headed back to the Eco for the quiz up on the top deck with some drinks. Finished off with some beautiful beef cheeks!
The winds had eased overnight and we went ashore to Beacon Island where we heard some Ghost Stories from Jay. We didn’t muck around, we raced back got everyone in their togs and threw them on the Batavia wreck just before departure. Squeezing two things in this morning before we leave, what a task but we smashed it. We had a beautiful trip on the way in and wrapped it up saying goodbye to the passengers to another Indian Ocean Sunset.
Our best fish this week was Michelle’s Pink Snapper. Congrats!
From the Bridge Deck
– Bronson Cox