Sunday, 7 April 2013

Back to Skipjack Point

1 April 2013

My family promised me we could head back to Skipjack so I could try to see those elusive sea snakes!  So we headed to Cape Peron and all started the short 1.5km walk to Skipjack but it was hot and sandy so Simon turned back with the kids and drove there.

But when we first got up on the sand dunes/cliff of Cape Peron we could see some fishermen looking intently into the water. And there was a huge dugong just 20 metres or so from the water’s edge!  Can you believe it! One of the women yelled up to us in case we hadn’t realized what they were staring at. I managed to get a photo but we didn’t have the telephoto lens which is a shame. It would’ve been amazing to capture. 

Look hard to see the dugong.

The walk had some info boards about the meeting between the local Indigenous people, the Malgna, meeting the French explorers in the 1800s.  All the stories are written from the French perspective and tells that the locals were OK when Nicholas Baudin’s expedition came here but 15 or so years later when Freycinet came back, they were more anxious.  Who wouldn’t be? There was an artist on board this expedition and his drawings/paintings are really fascinating.  The naturalist on board was Francois Peron and he collected about 100,000 specimans to take back to France.

Interestingly, Freycinet brought his wife Rose aboard his expedition and she’s the first woman believed to have circumnavigated the globe.  They camped here at Shark Bay for 2 weeks – there’s an ‘unofficial’ painting of her at their camp.  I didn’t get a chance to go into the Discovery Centre/museum at Denham which has the actual French bottle that was used in the 1700s by Saint Alouarn to claim this coastline for France.  His proclamation happened at Turtle Bay on the northern tip of Dirk Hartog Island not far from where Dirk Hartog and his countryman Willem de Vlamingh had left their pewter plate(s) about 100 years earlier.

Once I got to the lookout at Skipjack Point we saw a huge school of tailor circling in the water, about 6 turtles, lots of huge eagle rays, and some whoppers of sharks (the biggest we’d seen so far).  This place really is absolutely amazing.  No wonder it’s a world heritage listed area.

Still no sea snakes. 

As you can see, once your not on the beach you're in the desert.

View from Skipjack Point

Otto made a friend. 

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