We arrived at the southern channel into the Montebello group of islands at 4pm and as we entered the reef between Dot and Daisy Islands we had a whale come right across our bow only just missed her!!
It was then only a few mile north to Main Bay where we anchored for the night on the low tide. Because of the Nuclear Bombing back in the 50’s, we were unable to go ashore so the following day we moved south, very slowly to the Stephenson Channel, during the high tide.
There isn’t a lot of deep water at the Montebellos nor is there a lot of the area surveyed, so caution was necessary. The channel was narrow and 6 mtr deep at high tide, max tidal range is 4.5m here. A majority of the Montes is a Sanctuary Zone(No fishing!!) but Stephenson Channel had fishing allowed and I cast a line a couple of times from the back deck and managed to catch a cod and a beautiful Spangled Emperor (both released).
As the weather dictates how long we stay places, unfortunately after 3 days here we only had a 2 day weather window before bad weather was expected, so we made the call to leave on the high tide the following day.
Picking our way through the bommies and reefs whilst enjoying the wonderful frolicking of the local wildlife. We watched a couple of outgoing turtles happy to be mating whilst we past by, dolphins swam under the bow, a dugong ducked under as we approached, in the distance we saw the large blows from the whales and then had a White Bellied Sea Eagle tried to land on the pullpit. We left the Montes behind us and exited through the western channel, currently we are 5nm from Boodie Island, south of Barrow Is.
We anchored in 7m at low tide and enjoyed the evening before retiring for an early night. All was well until 1.30am when the tide and wind changed which caused the anchor chain to cuddle a rock???, we think!! The noise woke us and then we decided to get under way. But the anchor chain stayed around ???, a few times of letting more chain out and driving out around where we thought it was caught eventually after 1/2 hr we were free.
55nm and 10hrs later we found ourselves at the Mackerel Islands in a magnificent bay on Serrurier Is, watching a dozen or more turtles making their way up the sand beach to lay their eggs. Others had us in stitches watching their mating antics whilst we were trying to anchor. Obviously monogamist relationships don’t apply, as there were others waiting their turn!!
This one is obviously shagged Out!!
Still at it!! Only 20m from us!
Another lot. . .with another waiting!!
Thats a happy look!
We have just anchored at North West Cape and like the Bark Endeavour, we are enjoying the display from the numerous whales frolicking.