We left Thursday Island and made a quick two-day trip across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Cape Wessel. The unimaginative naming that shows the explorers were getting jaded continues, we anchored in the cleverly named “Two Island Bay” (guess what, it’s a bay that has two islands in it).
The bay is one of the best anchorages we have enjoyed in Australia. Classic white sand beaches interspersed with a few rocky patches. Great 300-degree protection from wind and waves. Almost clear water.
We had seen a croc at TI but Two Island Bay is the first place (and still the only place) we got to see one undisturbed and unused to humans.
Once we showed up he/she started to move for the water.
Leaving behind the classic slide mark that (smart!) humans have learned to interpret as “Beach Closed to Swimming.”
Two Island Bay also has a colony of rock wallabies or something pretty similar. They live above the second beach on the south side of the bay. Apparently the crocs don’t go there too often. Don’t have any pictures, they only made themselves visible at dusk and it was just too dark to take pictures. Cool to be on the beach with them though.
From Two Island Bay we made another two-day trip to Somerville Bay. On the way we got a visit from the eagle shown at the top of this post while almost 50 miles offshore. He was looking for a possible resting place, but there were too many pokey things at the top of our mast so he gave up and flew away.
Somerville was nearly as pleasant as Two Island Bay. Not quite as well protected, and we didn’t see much wildlife, but still pretty nice.
From there we headed to Alcaro Bay about a 100 miles from Darwin. As we approached the anchorage we had something coming toward us in the water. Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a torpedo?
Turned out it was a manta ray right at the surface:) We shut down the engines and just drifted around without dropping the anchor for about half an hour while the ray swam around and around.
Later that afternoon our friends Chris and Peter showed up on Showtime, and the next morning we were joined by Thom on Fathom. We had quite a nice day, took a tour up the lagoon behind the beach, strolled on the beach, cleaned the dinghy, took care of a few other chores, and just generally got ready to compress back into civilization in Darwin.