We wake a little groggy after our partying on the Reef Prince the night before and totter out onto the deck in search of a sunrise, but the cliffs are too high for us to glimpse the pink streaks on the horizon.
Our first excursion begins at 6.30am along the beautiful Hunter River, which is super early but also means the air is still cool.
Afterwards we sit on the front deck of the Reef Prince watching the incredible landscape slip by. DD announces he’d love to do the Kimberley cruise all over again. He’s thrilled by how much fun he’s been having and a little disappointed that we’re already at day seven.
It’s been so beautiful and special that I have been frequently moved to tears, however, I’m not sure I’d do exactly the same cruise again – there are so many other places I haven’t explored yet. But never say never, we will see.
The first step is to find a new job before I think about any more holidays.
I’m a little sad to miss out on a swim today at the gorgeous beach above, with my “Kimberley splash” ruined by a crocodile cruising past. Eeeek!
I’m also a bit sad not to have wi-fi today, as the youngest is competing in the National Skipping Championships on the Gold Coast. I won’t know how she went until we get a mobile phone signal in Darwin, which is still four days away.
I later discover she won a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal for various Double Dutch events. Here are some shots of the kids in action:
But it’s also incredibly freeing to have no idea what is happening in the outside world. I’m reading Julia Baird’s book Phosphorescence, which DD gave me for Christmas. I wasn’t a fan initially, but it’s grown on me. Her ruminations on finding joy and being in the moment have been speaking to me as we explore the Kimberley and marvel at its rugged beauty.
We have no choice but to be in the moment here, as there are so few distractions. We simply sleep, eat and explore each day, reading a chapter or two of our books occasionally. I feel the brick of tension that usually sits in my chest become a little lighter.
In the afternoon we cruise to Prudhoe Island to explore a “crystal beach”. The shore is scattered with rocks filled the most amazing crystals – some clear, some pink, some creamy. I am entranced and wish I could fossick for hours. I love the clear crystals and grab a couple of small, faceted beauties before we clamber back into the tenders and head to the other side of the island. It has a shoreline deep with pieces of dead coral, which crunch under our feet as we walk over them to search for petroglyphs -!indigenous art in the basalt rocks, etched into the stone 60,000 years ago,
As we explore, the sun begins to set and we gather to gaze at the beautiful colours in the sky before heading back to the Reef Prince for a dinner of slow-cooked beef cheeks and tiramisu.
Song of the day: Prince “Diamonds and pearls”