The intermittent Blogger returns....
I am attaching four photos to this post (4000 words I need not write?!) which I promise will not include white beaches, crystal clear blue waters and overhanging palm trees.... this time at least, as we have seen a goodly number of those three constituent parts assembled together to the recipe of the classic holiday brochure idyll.
The first photo is a shot taken looking forward over TinTin's bow as the large swell raced past lit by the afternoon sun. It is very difficult to capture the real size of the waves on camera and I at last found that this was the best view, which combined with the time of day, gives the best results. I probably have a couple of hundred shots but have selected this one as it shows the sweeping movement of the swell as it overtakes us from left to right, and breaks just ahead of the bow.
The second shows the single coconut palm on Ashmore reef.. Below it, two graves of fishermen are marked with carved wooden marker posts. These were once painted blue paint but this is now flaking away to reveal the bare wood. This desolate, isolated reef, between Darwin and Christmas Island, conveniently has mooring buoys for visiting yachts in it's inner lagoon. The small sandy island, bounded by scrubby bushes with a grassy central area, is the home to thousands of birds including Noddys, Boobies and Terns. The graves are here because it is the traditional fishing ground of people from Indonesia to the north and they are still permitted to fish its waters in traditional boats. But, it's new role is as part of the frontline of Australia's effort to stop asylum seekers and refugees from reaching their jurisdiction by boarding boats in Indonesia. A Border Force vessel is stationed here permanently and aircraft fly out from Darwin every day to locate and identify all vessels,
particularly smaller ones.
Photo three is of Justin taking a photo of the biggest land crab I've ever seen. This is the Robber crab, also known as the Coconut crab, and we came across these on Christmas Island. We also saw many of the famous enough Christmas Island Red land crabs though we were too early to witness the mass migration of upwards of 70 million which must be amazing to see. The road signs on Christmas Island include many reminding drivers to 'Drive round Robber crabs not over them, even in 4wds'.
The fourth photo is of a male Brown Booby showing the almost iridescent blue of his face and beak. These birds are like the Concords or maybe more appropriately, B1 bombers, of the ocean as they demonstrate high speed flying with minimal movement of their narrow swept back wings. We have seen flying fish which had thought they had escaped attack from tuna or dorado below the water chased down,at great speed, and snatched by Boobies mid air!
So I hope you will excuse my long abscence and enjoy these four photos and the accompanying thoughts.