It was quite warm but overcast when we woke up. I needed to do some washing and this was in the laundry by 8.00 am! Radical though it may have been, we decided to go out to breakfast! Very exciting, but as we had already decided to lunch out – it could only be put down to total decadence! There is a cafe called The Goose opposite the end of the jetty and it proved to be a prime spot for being naughty and having a breakfast out.
We both had an excellent meal although we had to retreat when a heavy shower cooled our ardour sitting outside! We set off back to our chores very heartened! Although the day looked very dodgy weather wise, I decided to put the washing out anyway. We then decided on an hour’s free time (that’s what happens when decadence creeps in!) before taking off to the underwater Observatory…….
It was, therefore, somewhat later that we found ourselves once again setting forth on the mile walk to the end of the pier. Although it is in very good shape now, the jetty has obviously had something of a chequered history. It was originally built to accommodate the delivery and despatch of goods and materials from what was then called the Vasse settlement. Then, as the ships coming into the port got bigger, the jetty had to be extended to accommodate their draught. It is a very shallow bay. Since then there have been fires and cyclones, all of which have taken their toll and demolished all or parts of the jetty. The original wooden structure has now been replaced by concrete sleepers and it feels very substantial. Along the way there are areas for fishing and diving, commemorative plaques to mark where people’s ashes have been scattered, places to clean your fish and of course the railway for the train. Add to this the people strolling up and down and you have a really busy thoroughfare.
The wind was really strong as we walked up to the end for our Underwater Observatory experience. Just as we got to the end it poured with rain, to add just one more element of excitement! Right at the far end there is a signpost denoting the distances of various capital cities from Busselton.
The tour was great.sadly our photos do not do it justice. (I will put a few in anyway so you can get the gist.) As you descend, you initially see the water as it edges up to the first level window and then as you go further down, amazing corals that have embedded themselves on the jetty pylons. Then as you reach the bottom, beautiful fish. Some in shoals, others fishy individuals living out there lives beneath the ocean. The tour guide was excellent and took care to ensure that we all had the benefit of her expertise. I have to say that fish are not usually my thing, but as a non swimmer, it gave me a rare opportunity to see under the water. The corals were as fascinating as the fish I think.
The Observatory was built in Fremantle and floated down to Busselton. Whilst it is not all that far down – only 8 meters to the sea floor, it obviously needs quite a lot of looking after. The outside of the windows are cleaned by divers every week. We were lucky to visit on a Thursday as Wednesday is window cleaning day. One of the window cleaning diving team, a young woman, was actually visiting from the inside with with our party, she was a real underwater enthusiast. It was all very interesting. We stayed for well over an hour in total just peering out into the water. We even saw a small octopus. What fun!
Eventually it was time to wander back. Despite the bracing weather we decided to walk back to justify the lunch we had promised ourselves. By the time we ate it was well into the afternoon. It was then back to Apollo, after a quick visit to the town centre, to see how the dreaded washing had fared given that it had rained on and off all day. In actual fact it had not done too badly and with some fancy footwork with an iron and a lot of airing it was all dry by the end of the day. It had to be – tomorrow we drive back to Perth.
Given that we had lunched, it was a snack for supper and a bit of consolidation of items ready for the morning. The last time the bed has to be put together. I am going to miss this nightly ritual……