Monday 27th

Somehow we got our timings wrong for getting up.  The benefit of our mistake was that we saw the sun rise over Shark Bay, us and a single pelican that had arrived early for the dolphin feeding which was to take place further along the beach a little later.
We attended this daily spectacle a little late when, true to form, four dolphins appeared within inches of the edge of the water waiting for their breakfast.   Members of the watching audience were invited to assist in their feeding.  The dolphins were not huge and the whole event was interesting, but I felt, not over exciting.  It was made more so by a pelican (several had materialised, like the dolphins, from nowhere) determined to come between the fish pail and the dolphin being fed.
Disappointingly for some of our party, none of our group were invited to be dolphin feeders. That excitement over we set off for the long ride to north to Coral Bay.  Back we went down the peninsula and once again took the North Western Highway as it snaked it’s way northward.
It was to be a long days drive.  There was a bit of exercise before we left,
(Keith exercising!)
but the rest of the day, apart from a couple of stops was spent on the road. Even our lunch was eaten on the move – the lunch sandwiches having been made at breakfast.
Shark Bay covers a large area and was the nautical graveyard of many ships such as the Batavia which we discovered in the Shipwreck Museum in Fremantle.  It was also the place to make a name for  privateers (or pirates) such as the famous William Dampier. In his quest for the silver booty found on the Spanish ships roving the seas, he predated Drake and Cook in his discoveries.  He sailed into Shark Bay and was to make a study of the Aboriginal people, although he described them as a ‘wretched people’ a description that sadly remained of them for several hundred years.
We arrived at the resort of Coral Bay in time to see the sunset from the beach.
It was quite cool but beautiful.  The red rocks behind us bore the pockmarks of the creatures that had been fossilised in the rock over millennia and exposed over time by the wind  and sea.   The water was calm and it was our first sighting of the reef that was to remain with us for several days.
The sun sank gradually and then was suddenly gone, leaving behind a red hot sky that was to turn even more red over the next hour.  Our supper was an excellent hamburger served at the backpackers centre where we were staying.
Our dormitory held 10 people and ours (considered to be the quiet Room) was over subscribed.

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