This time we decided to go north to Shark Bay for the Easter long weekend. It’s quite a long drive (just under 850km), so we normally don’t go this far north for just a weekend.
On Thursday afternoon I pick Jon up from work (at 2pm) and we arrive at Francois Peron NP just after midnight. We drive straight to Big Lagoon, hoping we can find a nice spot there before it gets too busy. We’re lucky as there are only 2 other campers there when we arrive and there is still a spot right next to the lagoon. Perfect! We pitch the tent and enjoy a cold beer from the fridge before going to bed – we have finally bought our car fridge (for our birthdays)!
The next morning we sleep in and head straight out for a paddle after breakfast. We go south, into the wind, towards the opening of the lagoon. Once we get there we explore the mangrove area in the bay. It’s amazing! We see lots and lots of rays (all sorts), sharks, giant shovel-nosed rays and turtles. It’s like kayaking in a zoo!
After lunch we go out for another paddle, this time up north further into the lagoon. Also very pretty, but not as exciting after this morning’s paddle… and hard work getting back…
We have dinner (salmon with couscous) and then have a drink whilst waiting for Dymph and Graham to arrive. There are so many mozzies out, it’s wind still and we forgot the mozzie spray, so I hide in the tent for a while until they arrive (around 10pm). We have a quick drink together and then go to bed, underneath some awesome stars!
The next day we repeat the same paddle, but this time with D&G in their new kayaks! Again we are amazed by the amount of wild life out there, although it is harder to see anything as there is not as much sun light and it is quite windy.
Jon and I sail back with the wind – bliss. After lunch we drive to Denham to buy mozzie spray and then back up to Point Peron where we go for a short walk to Skipjack point. Lots of cormorants around, but we don’t see any dugongs 🙁
On the way back we stop at the old Peron homestead where there is still a hot tub. Star gazing whilst sitting in a hot tub!
The next day D&G want to explore the rest of the lagoon and Jon and I load up the kayaks to explore the Shell Beach area. But first we have our breakfast after searching for the Easter eggs that Jude has hidden…
A long walk with the kayaks as it is really shallow and we head out with the wind in our backs (again). That means hard work to get back after a nice lunch on our private section of shell beach. We see a sea snake and a few rays, but not a lot compared to our lagoon.
We have another snack in the car park before Jude hops on her bike to ride back to the Peron homestead for another bath (about 50 odd km of gravel and sand). Jon heads off to Eagle Bluff and the Discovery Centre in Denham and just after 6pm we meet up again in the hot tub – G&D are already there when Jude arrives and Jon gets there a bit later – the Discovery Centre must have been exciting… We have a beer, wait for the stars to arrive and compare days.
Late dinner and some Amaretto before bed, again under a beautiful sky full of stars and even some shooting stars. Tonight there aren’t any mozzies around and the moon is up a bit later so we can enjoy the stars a bit longer.
Then it’s already time to pack up! Early morning start before we drive to Monkey Mia to check out the dolphins. We’re lucky as they are in the bay as we arrive. We watch them play and listen to the talks about the dolphins. Nicky (the dolphin I saw 12 years ago in the same spot) is still here!! This time Jude is allowed to feed Nicky and Graham feeds another dolphin too!
After the feeding we unload the kayaks and head off for a paddle, the dolphins come to check out the kayaks and follow us out for a while. When we come back G&D have said goodbye to a friend of Dymph who is on a tour to Broome and happened to be in Monkey Mia at the same time. They’ve decided to book a room and stay another night as they don’t have to be back until Wednesday. We have to leave after lunch (and a shower), but stop on the way back at Eagle Bluff (to look at all the rays and sharks swimming underneath us) and the Stromatolites. Amazing, but boring, rocky living things. It’s 5pm before we start the long drive back. This time it’s Jon who does most of the driving whilst Jude enjoys a bit of a beauty sleep. We get back home at 1AM and go straight to bed.