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Shark Bay

Posted on 8 Apr 2010 | 0 comments

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)!

our windy campsite, we put some extra straps on the tent to keep it stable

our windy campsite, we put some extra straps on the tent to keep it stable

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!

Jude heading out into the bay

Jude heading out into the bay

Jon kayaking in the bay

Jon kayaking in the bay

it is so shallow we can spot the rays easily

it is so shallow we can spot the rays easily

Jude and one of the rays

Jude and one of the rays

a close up of one of the rays

a close up of one of the rays

a giant shovel-nosed ray

a giant shovel-nosed ray

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…

Jude testing her balance

Jude testing her balance

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!

beautiful sunset

beautiful sunset

cool looking beetles running around at night

cool looking beetles running around at night

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.

Dymph and Jon

Dymph and Jon

Graham

Graham

Graham, Jon and Dymph on the kayaks

Graham, Jon and Dymph on the kayaks

Dymph getting a tow back from Jon

Dymph getting a tow back from Jon

another giant shovel-nosed ray, they're pretty cool

another giant shovel-nosed ray, they’re pretty cool

Dymph and Graham on the new kayaks

Dymph and Graham on the new kayaks

Jude and Jon sailing back

Jude and Jon sailing back

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 🙁

Jon, Jude and Dymph

Jon, Jude and Dymph

Jude and Jon reading the signs

Jude and Jon reading the signs

Jon and Jude

Jon and Jude

stunning views here

stunning views here

Jude trying to find dolphins or whales

Jude trying to find dolphins or whales

Dymph, Jude and Jon

Dymph, Jude and Jon

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…

Dymph and Graham hunting for the easter eggs Jude has hidden

Dymph and Graham hunting for the easter eggs Jude has hidden

Jon finding an egg that Jude has hidden

Jon finding an egg that Jude has hidden

Jon tucking into the easter eggs whilst Jude is cooking breakfast

Jon tucking into the easter eggs whilst Jude is cooking breakfast

our perfect campsite

our perfect campsite

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.

Lara at the Shark Bay world heritage sign

Lara at the Shark Bay world heritage sign

Jude having lunch on shell beach

Jude having lunch on shell beach

the entire beach is made up of these tiny, bright white shells

the entire beach is made up of these tiny, bright white shells

Jude with the skis

Jude with the skis

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.

the road to the old homesteadhas a few corrugations

the road to the old homestead has a few corrugations

Jon, Jude, Dymph and Graham in the hot tub

Jon, Jude, Dymph and Graham in the hot tub

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!

Nicky is still here after all these years!

Nicky is still here after all these years!

Jude is allowed to feed the dolphins!

Jude is allowed to feed the dolphins!

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.

the dolphins are curious and follow us on the kayaks for a while

the dolphins are curious and follow us on the kayaks for a while

Jude goes snorkelling

Jude goes snorkelling

several emus walk into the gardens

several emus walk into the gardens

the amazing, but boring stromatolites (oldest living organism on the planet)

the amazing, but boring stromatolites (oldest living organism on the planet)

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