Tuesday 4th September

After a luxurious lie in, we joined a few of our party for breakfast and later joined more of them at the local brewery Matso’s for an early lunch. I chose an excellent burger. Keith was delighted to find barramundi on the menu. It was great to have a meal without the chopping and chipping to prepare it! The beer was good too!

Keith and I left as we had arranged to spend the afternoon on a whale watching cruise which proved to be amazing. More about Broome later but two notable issues can be found skyward. One is aeroplanes and helicopters. The airport is in the middle of the town! From 5.30 in the morning ‘planes start landing and leaving. Most of the travellers are mining people being ‘shipped’ in and out. Interestingly the street lights in Broome are really short so as not to interfere with landing and take off…..

The other aerial attraction is the constant swooping of black kites. Wherever you are in the town they are circling overhead.

Anyway, back to the marine. We were collected by a very lively little lady in a mini bus and joined the whaling party. En route we saw a chain of camels, with their delicate gate, strolling along the road to carry off other would be tourists for a sandy camel safari at sundown. They looked very smart!

After collecting all the would be participants – who were frankly much more like our age group than our Overland chums but did not look half as much fun! – she drove us over the sand dunes and on to Cable Beach. A very exciting small craft came racing over the waves to collect us and rather surprised us by putting down wheels as it emerged from the water and drove up the beach to stop at our feet, where it promptly put its tyres away and settled down on the sand. Fascinating!

In no time we were whisked off to our vessel, a small boat with a very much appreciated roof given the strong sunshine, but no sides to mar our view of the sparkling ocean. And then came the whales. We had been travelling no more than five minutes it seemed before we came across a whale mother and her calf. The whales are hump backs on their way down to the Antarctic. They can grow up to up to 45 tons and are the 5th largest whale. After watching them for a bit we continued on out to sea, passing the rather flimsy looking lighthouse. Apparently it is built in its Meccano looking fashion to allow the typhoon type winds that batter the area in the winter to pass through the structure without demolishing it. Seems sensible but it did not look very robust to me……

Back to the water. We saw lots of whales. Their shiny bodies arching above the water

They were huge. Further off flumes of spray showed white above the waters surface in all directions. There were a lot of whales out there. It was a wonderful afternoon. The highlight was when one young calf whales flung itself totally out of the water several times. It was another magical moment.

As the sun began to slip down in the sky we turned to home and were able to watch the sun set with a beer and nibbles.

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon…….

It was dark before reached ‘home’. It was with some sadness that we learned that the excursion we had booked to fly over the horizontal waterfalls in the Kimberley had not materialised for Wednesday. It was really disappointing as they are said to be an amazing sight…. on the other hand it gives us a free day. Not a bad thing.

Having eaten at lunch plus nibbling our way through the afternoon while watching Whales, no more food was required. An early night to enjoy our room and comfortable bed..

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