Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 89 – 91 Derby – 5-7 Sept 2009

14,110 kms, 39 degrees C

Derby was a welcome injection of town-stuff. We stopped three nights in a caravan park close to the “CBD” and revelled in the joys of a pizza restaurant, a pub to watch the afternoon footie (in air conditioned luxury, hence we avoided the searing heat outside) and some other quite quirky stuff, like the No Bikes in Shop sign!

The main reason for stopping in Derby was to do the Horizontal Falls trip. Derby and the surrounding country have huge tides – the second largest in the world, at around 10m difference between high and low tides. The reason for this is the steep sided King Sound and the huge amounts of water flowing in and out daily. Further North of Derby that is the remarkable natural phenomenon known as the Horizontal Falls – check out the picture from the sea plane and you will see two narrow openings in the rock. The water held inside these pools comes from the sea, where the plane is. It rises quickly on the ocean side on an incoming tide but the speed of water going thro the narrow channels is limited, so a waterfall is created, with level differences up to 4m. Waterfalls are created in the opposite direction on the outgoing tide. The dark rocks show the change in water level across the tides.

The trip started with a seaplane ride from Derby, landing on the water at the mouth of the falls. Next we were transferred to a purpose made jet boat with 2x 250bhp motors each, and hooned up to and thro the falls. Awesome, although some in our group were wibbling a little! Next was a spot of fishing – Stuart had a monster on the hook, but it got off, probably a bronzed whaler (a type of shark). Finally we boarded the Lady M for an awesome evening on the luxury cruise ship. We spent hours watching the fish in the lights – check out the 3m lemon shark on the video.

The trip was a real highlight of the tour so far – it was not cheap but truly memorable.


Michelle said...

AWSOME!!!! Fantastic blog entry of horizontal falls - nearly felt like I was there - from my kitchen table... Safe travels on. X M

Honora said...

Fantastic footage Stuart. I'm with you Nicky on the nerves scale, but it looked great from here! Thought the "big fish" was the one you hooked Stuart, but 3m? Even your Mum wouldn't believe that! Thanks for the PC Nicky.

Stuart Riley said...

Michelle, your name is mentioned regularly, especially when we are eating soy chips!!

Mum - would your little boy tell a whopper?! It was big, not sure how big as it ate thro the 90lb line before I got it on board with us