It was a calm, clear dawn as we got up early enough to say hello to a friendly pod of dolphins. Connor actually got to feed a bt of fish to one, the lucky little bugger. These dolphins are really very tame and come right in on the beach to be fed four times a day. However this also means that there's always a big crowd of tourists to meet them. In 2010 Amanda swam with a pod of dolphins in the open sea, so for her the Monkey Mia experience was a bit too commercialised. But the youngster was happy.
Then a few phone calls secured the entertainment for the afternoon and tomorrow. Once we'd travelled the 29km to Denham for breakfast and enjoyed a walk along the beach we were set for a visit to the Shark Bay Discovery Museum, which is well worth an hour of your time. The most interesting shipwreck around here is the Zuytdorp, which sank in these waters in 1711 and was only found 30 years ago. It had lain there unknown for centuries, with a carpet of silver coins all around it. Of course once that got to be common knowledge then local interest in Scuba diving peaked and the coin started disappearing rapidly until the authorities had to step in to preserve the remaining items.
By mid afternoon we were on our way to the airport for something very special. The local air charter company removed a door from their single engined Cessna so that we could fly out over Shark Bay (the most Western point of the Australian continent) and shoot the Zuytdorp cliffs. As the plane could only take three passengers I had to leave one behind and Michael was good enough to volunteer so that Connor could get his first flight in a low altitude plane.
Connor had a great time, even though keeping the door open meant that it got a bit chilly (see left). Still, the cliffs were pretty. The charter company was also good enough to remove the door so that I could shoot easily, although the 200Km/h slipstream can make life difficult. Just my luck that the sunlight only came out once we landed, but luckily this is one of the things we can fix in post production. (token joke for Post people, there).
This is a most beautiful and yet desolate part of the world. I'm not sure I could live here because I'd miss those parts of urban life that we've come to take for granted, like: easy access to IT, convenience, variety of people, cosmopolitanism. And yet the other half of me yearns for this solitude and the time to do something creative. I guess I'll never win that one.