With a strong breeze blowing we had an adventurous trip over to Southern Group. Where our passengers got their land legs back and fed the friendly cod in the lagoon. We got back on board and headed over to Basille Island and again Peter and Nino were happy to have us over for afternoon coffee. We brought them over some of the local IGA’s finest beans. With a tour of the church, we confessed our sins for the next following days. We arrived back on board for an afternoon fish during sunset.
We headed over to Easter group for the morning to hit our favourite squid hole at Wooded Island and peaked in on the Lesser Noddies while a few Sea Lions popped their heads up to say hello while they were sun baking. After a sunny snorkel we headed over to Murry’s Latitude Pearl Hatchery and to our surprise Murry had a pearl shell display and gave us a detailed step by step demo of how they open and inspect the shell. We wrapped the day up with a game of Shanghai on the back deck. Our purser Nicole came through with a winning score and hit a score of 100, 2x 20’s and a triple 20.
A bag out on crays on hacksaw ridge is always a good way to get the day started. We steamed over to the Morley Island where it was 1 knot short of a glass off. Today’s agenda, beachcomb, a birdwatch, snorkel and a dive for some. There was a small juvenile male sea lion who didn’t want to be left out of the activities and joined in on the snorkel. After Morley for the first time this year we went over to Leos and fed the cods, spotted some more Sea Lions, numerous birds and watched the surf roll in over the reef. We finished up watching the sunset upstairs whilst transiting back into the lagoon. We spotted some whales on the way through which we suspected to be Minke or Southern Right Whales. Right on sunset, what a magical day.
We woke up to Hayden pulling a large Pink Snapper over the stern, all of sudden it was on, all the passengers had a rod in trying to catch lunch. While we were catching fish, Big Al was catching brand new malted crays. We rendezvoused, put the diver on tow and headed over to Beacon Island. Jay took everyone into the Island of Angry Ghosts where some of the old séance stories came out. While we were there Paul got some great shots of a Sea Lion showing off in the shallows. Steve had a seafood buffet awaiting the passengers when they got to the boat. Which probably wasn’t good thing considering we went and snorkelled the Batavia wreck with unreal conditions but hey good way to burn it off. No rest for the wicked, straight back on board and over to Big Pidgeon where we checked out the old school and after stretching the legs we needed to quench our thirst with a cold beer at the Big Pidgeon Club. We mixed with the locals and heard some incredible stories from Spaggs! What a character! Finished the night off with an absolute pearler of a glass off, we had squid, dolphins, school sharks, bait balls, coral spawn just to name a few things to witness as well as an incredible light show from a thunderstorm off in the distance. Jay wrapped up a another controversial quiz while we all got to sink in an enjoy the calm night.
We woke up without a breath of wind. Straight to Turtle Bay! Big Al bagged out with crays again while we dropped anchor in Turtle Bay and got the passengers ashore to make the most of the morning. When everyone got back being soaked from snorkelling in crystal clear water, we threw the boats up and headed back to Geraldton, right on time with not a ripple in sight.
From the Bridge Deck
– Bronson Cox