Kimberley - Horizontal Falls June 16 - 17 2018
  Early morning exit from James Price Point.

A couple less psi in the tyres.

  An hour or so to Broome.

To top up the food.


That's why there could be so many helicopters flying over James Price Point so frequently.

There are lots of them available.

  Fuel and water at Roebuck Plains Roadhouse again.

Then towards Derby.

The Kimberley Meat Company abattoir was opened in 2016 after a few years without an abattoir in the area - Derby and Broome meatworks had closed.

This is near the junction for Mt Jowlaenga Station.

Local station owner decided he needed his own meatworks.

  We camped by the road.

Surprised by a dawn chorus and birds we couldn't identify.

  We have to cross the Fitzroy River.

Looks like there's a flood plain.

  We see our first Boab Tree.

Not imported from Southern Africa where similar grow.

  The Fitzroy River.

Probably tidal. Quite a change from the Pilbara, this has water in it.

  main street in Derby.
  we can follow it all the way to the wharf,

to see if the tide is in or out - it has a wide range.

  about 2:15pm we set off for the horizontal falls.

Truck is left in a fenced compound, at the hotel/pub.

  a 30 minute flight, initially over mudflats and patterns made by the tide.
  someone reckoned "fractals",

I think "dendrites".

  we reach 5,500 ft, at about 130 knots,

despite having metricated everything else.

  with a glimpse of fish farming
  a quick check that the pilot knows where we are going
  more of the view towards the Buccaneer Archipelago
  we wave to people on one of the small cruise boats that operate along the Kimberley coast.
  The floats on the seaplane are needed when we reach Talbot Bay.
  To land next to the houseboats.

We spend the night here (in air conditioned comfort).

  Have a look at the nurse sharks being fed. .

They are fed barramundi offcuts. The sharks that is, not the people separated in the playpen.

  Up to 3m.

Unlike most sharks, which are pelagic (have to keep swimming) these sharks can pump water through their gills, which allows them to lie stationery on the see floor sensing vibrations.

  We board a boat.

Looks fast, with 4 big outboards on the back.

  there are other "toys" waiting for us after breakfast.
  a look towards the entrance of Talbot Bay,

checking we are here?

  The seaplanes do a quick turnround,

taking this morning's party home to either Broome or Derby.

we wondered for a short while why someone was sat on top of the wing of the plane.

nothing sinister ..... refuelling, not posing.

  this is a bit like the boat we will ride in.
  the itinerary varies as the tides go round,

we set off into Cyclone Bay (Creek).

Very sheltered.

Also the home of the "several day houseboat".

  the tide is by no means at its lowest,

but we gain an impression of how large the tidal range is,

at the greatest its around 11m between low and high.

  Pentecost sandstone.
  suitably contorted bedding planes in places
  tilted down towards the coast.
  one of the afternoon helicopter trips returning
  a gentle ride back from Cyclone Creek,

a strange approach to our houseboats (two tied end to end)

  we pass them by and head towards the Horizontal Falls.

This is the "big gap".

Around 25m.

  we aren't alone,

so we wait a while

  then sail through the gap

to be carefully positioned for maximum photo opportunity

  we play zooming through the gap a couple of times
  then advance to the "little gap"
  to play with the other boat again,

its being kept stationery on the waterfall

  the fall is because the water can't flow through the gaps fast enough to keep up with the tide as it falls (or rises).
  a pass across the high side of the gap.
  about 1.5m fall
  faster than I can swim
  after a couple of times through the gap we get the hang of taking photos and uttering "aahh" simultaneously,

in this case looking through the big gap at the little gap,

about to climb up the fall.


  noting, the fall at the little gap as we balance on the edge
  Dinner (what else but barramundi) timed so the sunset is about right.
  following morning we get another look.

The tide is in a different state, the falls are higher.

  we inspect the little gap,

but at more than a couple of meters fall its considered unsafe for the boat.

  slowly illuminated more as the sun rises
  and a last close up,

definitely a bigger fall than last night!

and just to remind us that the water is moving quite rapidly

Full Size Video

  at the houseboat we watch the seaplanes arrive, bringing this morning's day trippers.

this is a well choreographed professional operation. A subtle balance between moving people through at a leisurely pace while maintaining a timetable.

  so all too soon we take off for a couple of circuits of the falls then back to Derby.

sometimes the circuits are done on arrival, sometimes on departure.

behind the scenes someone has done some planning so everyone gets a good look.

  the big gap is nearest
  the little gap as we perform a right turn
  with a different camera, from a different angle, from the other side of the plane
  and the little gap again with the first camera
  perhaps the Kimbolton range
  looking north west
  methinks the pilots have fun,

there are three planes required to transport us all to Derby,

one of them is below us,

our plane is a Cessna 204 Caravan.

  we think this may be one of Slarty Bartfast's better efforts,

lots of twiddly bits.

  there are similar, but much smaller falls (wider gaps), to the horizontal falls
  just checking that the pilot knows we are about to land at Derby.
  during the flight I noticed the "right fuel low" light flashing a bit then become permanently on,

as we landed the "left fuel low" light was flashing intermittently,

then came on continuously as we taxiid.

Given how smoothly the rest of the excursion went I assume its deliberate.

Kimberley - Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek June 18 - 20 2018

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