Saturday, August 15, 2009

Prudhoe Island to Port Nelson

Hi Blog Readers, I am pleased to announce that the fishing has improved. We anchored at Prudhoe Island on Thursday - a picturesque bay with weathered sandstone sculptures, now becoming a feature of this part of the Kimberley. Susan and I enjoyed a leisurely beach walk, collecting coral sinkers for our hunters and gatherers, who are fast running out of lead sinkers. On our way back to the boat, we spotted fish jumping and headed over to put in our lines. Much to the delight of Cran and Peter we caught a meal in record time. Early on Friday morning they headed back to the same area and were able to catch last night's dinner. Parrot, Stripey Perch and Trevally are the common fish around the rocky edges and reefs of the islands and make good eating.
On our passage to Bigge Island our next destination we were fortunate to see a mother Humpback Whale and her calf breaching in the sea ahead. We slowed down as they passed to enjoy their display. Bigge Island was chosen so that we could look at Aboriginal art located in caves at the back of Wary Bay Beach. We were not disappointed, with two magnificent Kaiara paintings(a mouthless head with a large halo which represents the weather clouds), a form of Wandjina art. There were also paintings of turtles, stingrays, crocodiles, snakes other animals. These caves also contain a painting of a boat with three men each of which have a pipe in their mouths. It is a privilege to be able to enjoy this ancient art in its natural environment. In Europe they would be housed in air conditioned buildings behind glass. Its preservation is however a concern as it is at the mercy of the elements. Wary Bay is enclosed by large weathered sandstone one of which looks like the head of a large crocodile, another an Egyptian Sphinx and also a rhino. After some exploring we headed south to the next bay, Boomerang Bay. Late in the afternoon a yacht named Pioneer sailed past our stern and anchored nearby. They were nearly out of diesel (we were able to help them out)as they had motored most of the way from Darwin. Peter the owner was on the final leg of his circumnavigation of Australia, heading for his home town of Perth. He and his friend Paul joined us for sundowners and entertained us with tales of their journey and adventures and gave us some good advice for our future travels as we head down the west coast and around into the Bight.
The weather is warm with light winds and we are heading to Port Nelson to see to "Mermaid" Boab Tree where Philip Parker King careened his boat in 1820. King chartered most of the Kimberley and his charts were still used by sailors until recently.

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