Coffs Harbour, Australia
 
 May 26, 2017     |      read entry >








April 2017 blogs






 



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May 26, 2017 (day 3,648)
Quick Fix: 30° 18.2 S / 153° 08.8 E
Conditions:  Wind: 6/SW Sky: Clear

Dream Time with the Dolphins
Rarely do we experience seas this peaceful, the surface all silky, heavy and smooth, disturbed only by delicate patterns of tiny ripples, the very beginning of waves born from a gentle gust. And never before have we sailed with dolphins surfing within a perfect reflection of Dream Time, two worlds connected for an hour, separated only by a bubbling white wake - our reality above, a magical world below. One where two dolphins, companions, danced closely together, fins and bodies brushing the other, gliding, twisting and weaving within the shadows and reflections of our bow, each taking turns to impress us with their grace and ability before revealing sleek white bellies caressed by sunlight, and an enquiring eye that seemed to search us for meaning. The soft echoes of whistling announced the arrival of a mother with her calf, and at times our reflection blended so perfectly with their presence, we seemed to all be sharing the same dream, one where you almost couldn't quite tell our worlds apart.

 


May 26 2017     |    NSW coastline, Australia - Dolphins surfing within Dream Time's reflection - no filters, no Photoshop.

 


May 21 2017     |    We're back at sea and in historic company - sailing north with the James Craig, an 1874 square rigger which rounded The Horn an impressive 23 times.


 

We've just closed the loop of our 80-day walkabout! We're back in Sydney and it's a little cold here now - time to sail north.





May 11, 2017     |     Fifteen minutes to sunset at Kata Tjuta, home to the spirit energy from the 'Dreaming'.





May 11, 2017 (day 3,633)
Quick Fix: Uluru, Northern Territory

A Grand Finale
Whether it's looking up at a thirty foot wave from the deck of sailboat, swimming alongside a humpback whale, or sitting on the rim of an active volcano, to fully appreciate our world's most impressive natural wonders you need to sometimes stand in their shadows and be humbled by the sheer scale of the experience. It'll spark an emotion in you, a connection to the moment that film is unable to capture or express. And no matter what preconceived ideas you might have had, nothing can quite prepare you for the reality of that first encounter. It was like that when we sighted Uluru. We'd seen photos, sure, but the immense presence of this rock, rising vertically to 2,831 feet from a flat center of Australia, is simply awesome. We spent a day base-walking this sacred Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal site, watching its colors change from flat grey to a warm red glow with the setting sun. It was unforgettable, and a perfect ending to our walkabout - palya Uluru, thank you!







May 10, 2017     |     Chasing the moonrise around Kata Tjuta.



May 9, 2017     |     An Uluru sunset.



May 8, 2017     |     Uluru (Ayers Rock) - An impressive grand finale for our 80-day walkabout.

 

 

 


 

   
Day 3,626 - Mount Bundy Station, NT
15:58hrs - May 4, 2017
The Top End

We've made it to Darwin, the Top End, and in doing so have visited every coastline - north, east, south and west - of this great continent.

We've spent the last week in Crocodile Dundee country, the Northern Territory, exploring a region that, just a few weeks ago, was mostly inaccessible unless you had a life raft or at the very least, nerves of steel and a rugged 4x4 truck with a snorkel. 'The Wet' this year, NT's rainy season, dumped a biblical 2,484mm of water across the region, swelling rivers over their banks and 14 kilometers across the bush.

Some of the roads within the national parks are still closed, but we spent a week hiking the Kakadu. We trekked to ancient art galleries - Aboriginal dreaming sites where cultural images were painted onto boulders and rocky overhangs 20,000 years ago. We've visited freshwater billabongs, admired expansive views from towering red cliffs over a never-ending plateau of spinifex grass and stringybark trees, we even took a tinny cruise on the murky brown waters of the Adelaide River where, we were told, wild crocs lurked in their thousands. And we had a surprising and intimate encounter with one of the river's most dominant specimens, an impressive and irritable twenty-foot male who suddenly appeared, thrashing right alongside our tinny (aluminium boat), spraying us with heavy globs of river mud and having our tour guide probably thinking she deserved a raise.

In a road house off the Stuart Highway I tracked down a Darwin Stubby, the world's largest mass-produced bottle of beer, 2.25 liters of Aussie brewed refreshment. Regrettably it was empty (they stopped production in 2015), but I did chase it with a regular size Emu stubby next to Charlie, the buffalo made famous in the movie Crocodile Dundee.

Yesterday we took a drive to Fannie Bay and gazed out across the calm yet dangerous waters toward the Timor Sea, a view I enjoyed twenty-three years ago after being banned from Australia for six months and just before fleeing Darwin to sail across the Indian Ocean and up the Red Sea. With cyclone season now officially over, a few early cruisers were anchored far from shore (the tidal range in Fannie Bay is a whopping 25 feet), and over another cold stubby, Catherine and I imagined Dream Time anchored in this very bay next year as we venture north into Asia.

For our last night in Moby we took a detour south to Mount Bundy Station, an Australian ranch that, back in the day, covered 1.1 million acres. It's still a working station complete with cattle, Indonesian swamp buffaloes, horses, flocks of tropical birds, crocodiles and the Cheeky Bull Bar, an old cobweb strewn corrugated shed converted into a colorful watering hole for thirsty locals, station workers, jackaroos and guests.

Our last meal with Moby was a full bush breakfast cooked on our pullout BBQ and enjoyed outside whilst watching dozens of river wallabies (tiny kangaroos) bouncing through waving fields of spinifex grass on their way to the billabong for a morning nip. It was the quintessential Australian backdrop, and the perfect ending to our walkabout in the Top End.

Tomorrow we fly south to a World Heritage site and the earth's second largest monolith. It's at the Red Center of this great continent, a deeply sacred location where the spirits of Aboriginal Ancestor Beings, creators of this physical world during the Dreamtime, are believed to reside. Out of respect to their beliefs we plan to make a basewalk pilgrimage rather than clamber up the side to its summit, an activity that many tourists, with little regard for the wishes of the Aboriginal custodians, still choose to do. More to follow...





May 1, 2017     |      Kakadu, Northern Territory - 20,000 year old rock art created by the world's oldest living culture.



May 1, 2017     |     Just another day in Kakadu: 7 kanagaroos, 2 emus, 1 snake, 2 dingoes and this 15 foot termite hill.