25th June, 2016.
It was an early start today to get to Montgomery Reef in good time to watch the reef seemingly rise out of the surrounding sea. Of course the reef itself was not moving, it was the tide falling giving that impression.
Joining us at the reef was another charter vessel, the Lady M.
Two of their crew came over to say hello – most of the crews of these charter vessels seem to be on good terms with each other and always ready to lend a helping hand to each other if needed – which will be demonstrated later in this post.
Often turtles are stranded on the reef as the tide drops. It’s a long hot wait for the tide to return.
So our ship’s cook, Liam, came to the rescue and returned this lucky fellow to the water.
The crew told us this Fisheries vessel visits them on average once a week checking their paperwork and catches. We were to see them off and on for a few more days.
Erich wasn’t keen to do the mudcrabbing but I decided to give it a go. The crew set groups of 10 pots in inlets in Red Cone Creek and we went off in groups of 3 in Odyssey’s tinnies to retrieve our treasures. The main skill required was balance when pulling up the pots to avoid becoming crocodile food.
I wasn’t taking any chances and sat down to display my prize.
Faye, an experienced boat fisher, was much more confident.
Heading back to Odyssey with our haul.
On our way to Red Cone Creek, the crew made a detour in Homer to leave jerry cans of fuel for a sailing boat with whom they had been in contact via UHF and who would collect them later.
Lady M was anchored nearby.
We motored on in Odyssey expecting Homer to rejoin us later. Approximately 15 minutes later, the skipper announced that there was an emergency involving a passenger on Lady M so we came about in their direction to meet Homer who would take the Odyssey’s defibrillator, oxygen bottle and emergency kit to Lady M.
One of Lady M’s passengers had collapsed on the beach and was unconscious. Lady M contacted the Flying Doctor who advised the use of the defibrillator and oxygen. It was decided to send a helicopter from Horizontal Falls to collect the patient and transport him to Derby. Purely by chance, there was a doctor on a tour at Horizontal Falls who accompanied the flight.
With Homer safely in tow once again we made our way to Ruby Falls. The walk to the lower pool was something of a challenge – 3.5/5 so I was satisfied with that. The climb to the upper falls was almost vertical. Erich did it but he was not happy about the return journey.
The upper falls.
While we were swimming, the helicopter returned from Derby to drop off a passenger who had accompanied the patient and finding no one aboard Lady M, dropped him at the waterfall.
One of our daredevil passengers, Jason, jumping from the upper falls into the lower pool.
Our first croc sighting as we were returning to Odyssey.
As we made our way to the evening’s anchorage, we passed one of the only two commercially licensed Barramundi trawlers in the Kimberley. This fellow, with his wife and three children, spends the season here catching Barra and then returns to his base in Darwin at the end of the season. His wife tans barramundi skins which are then made into various items such as wallets and purses, that sell for astronomical prices in trendy boutiques. We could have bought them on Odyssey at very reasonable prices.
While we were off enjoying our swim, the crew had cleaned and cooked our mud crabs ready for nibbles on the foredeck.
What a way to end a great day!
Our anchorage for the night at bottom right.