Little Sandy Island

We have a long sail ahead of us today because we have to be in Fremantle for disembarkation tomorrow morning, but there was still time for one last shore exploration…which meant that breakfast began at 6am. The Expedition Crew set off to ready the island while we were eating.

For a change, we were on one of the first wave of Zodiacs to leave the ship, but we were far from the first to reach the island.

We’d dressed in swimware and brought our snorkeling gear, but it was not to be – our guide Craig told us that they’d closed snorkeling for safety reasons, so we had to content ourselves with enjoying the scenery and the wildlife. There was a small colony of sea lions on the island; they were resting when we arrived, but got more active during our visit.

The truly avid photographers got closer to the sea lions than I would have!

And our guides kept a close eye on things from the Zodiacs.

The island was also home to a number of birds, including Pied Oystercatchers, two kinds of gulls (Silver and Pacific), and at least three kinds of terns (Great Crested, Roseate, and Little).

It had been cloudy since we left the ship, but every so often, the sun managed to peek through.

We saw some of our shipmates enjoying the water and the sun, but then it started to rain a bit and our guide suggested putting away “nice cameras”.

We took the hint and took the next Zodiac back to the ship.

Everyone was back on the ship about an hour ahead of schedule and we set sail for Fremantle. It was smooth sailing for a while, but things got rough during lunch (cutlery went sliding onto the floor a few times and at least one person fell). We were supposed to have a 2pm lecture but the captain came on the PA to suggest that people stay in their cabins, so it’s been postponed. We’re on Deck 4, and spray was hitting our window on a regular basis for a while!

Things have calmed down a little, but it’s still pretty rocky. I guess we’ll have fewer distractions from packing….