Trip 25, part 4 – the Gladstone interlude

Our plan is to be at the Murchison River Homestead on Saturday 15/8 to meet up with the guys who are travelling back from Francois Peron.  As we had a few days to kill after leaving our camp at Temple Gorge in the Kennedy Range we headed into Carnarvon to do some shopping and chuck a load of washing on at the laundromat and then headed 150km South to Gladstone Bay on the inner gulf of the Shark Bay World Heritage area.  Despite being relatively busy, there was oodles of space and we parked the Goldy right on the waters edge.  Spectacular West facing ocean views to the horizon meant we had beautiful and unimpeded sunsets over the ocean.   We also took advantage of the “artesian shower” which is essentially some old corrugated iron nailed around four posts in which a strong trickle of water, drawn straight from an artesian (underground) bore.  The water is naturally heated by sunlight on the black hose and despite being ‘hard water’ that is slightly salty and mineralised, it is nonetheless a great and somewhat liberating experience. 

Our ocean side campsite at Gladstone Bay, noting that the tide is currently out

With nothing planned for our one-day layover at Gladstone it was eventually decided, after a sleep in, that we’d do bugger all today (Friday).  Jules parked her herself in the sun and did some reading and I went for a wander with the camera down towards the bottom of Gladstone Bay to see what I could find.  Apart from the shallow and crystal-clear turquoise waters of the gulf, there wasn’t a lot to photograph – that was until I came across a recently deceased Hawksbill Turtle.  I couldn’t see any obvious signs of its death, there was no plastic, fishing line or propeller damage so I’m not sure what happened to the poor bugger.  I took some photos which I hope people will view as I see them and that is in respect of the beautiful animal that was, not to glorify its death.

The deceased Hawksbill Turtle I found on the tidal flats.

The deceased Hawksbill Turtle I found on the tidal flats.

Still on my walk, I headed a bit further South before turning inland towards the sand dunes to see what I might find in there, hoping to maybe find a Thorny Devil.  Well, no Thorny Devils but I did stalk and manage to take some really crappy shots of some of the local birds which were jazzing up the morning with their joyous song.

Tyre tracks in the sandflats

A Redthroat.  That is its full name according to Jules’ bird field guide.

A Splendid Fairy Wren, which could be a non-mating male as it’s not coloured blue, or a female.  It was singing its tune on top of this tree so I assume it was a male.

A male White Winged Fairywren which is missing his tail feathers

The same male White Winged Fairywren which is missing his tail feathers

An Australasian Pipit

Following lunch Jules and I took an arvo stroll up the beach to check out the heritage listed jetty which was used in the early 1900’s to take on supplies from luggers landing at Dirk Hartog Island, across the gulf, with the supplies then ferried across the by ‘lighters’, smaller ships.  At the jetty they offloaded supplies for the early pastoralists and then ferried out the wool and sandalwood for distribution.

Looking out at the 77m long jetty

Tomorrow, Saturday 15/8 we continue South to meet up with the guys at the Murchison River Homestead for a week.

Looking back at Jules from the end of the 77m long jetty

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