I had set my alarm for 5am to get up and go for a walk around the eastern side of the beach to catch the sun rising over the water across the King Sound, which was well worth the early rising – just as beautiful as the sunset the night before, if not even more so, because it was so still and peaceful and the birds were waking up with the light and nobody was around.
Did some serious shell collecting as there were hundreds of lovely cowrie shells scattered across the sand and some really unusual cone ones – then headed out in the shallows for a swim. It was such a gradual slope on the beach that I found myself walking out about 500 metres to get the water up to my waist alone.
Just as I was contemplating turning back, I put my foot down under the water and a cloud of sand erupted from underneath it – and I saw the flat shape of a sting ray bolt across the ocean floor away from me! A little shaken I decided to turn around and follow my thus far stingray free footsteps back towards the shore, but discovered that my walking out had obviously stirred up the sand and uncovered some interesting foodstuffs for the rays to come and check out, so I encountered another 10 underfoot on my walk back and saw a large number milling around on both sides. Awesome, if a little bit terrifying.
Smash appeared around the headland and we walked back to the main beach around the rocks and had a swim before wandering back to camp and having some breakfast with the lads. We slowly and sort of unwillingly packed up (none of us really wanted to leave, but we had to get their hire car back to Broome that afternoon) and headed off, with a quick stop in at One Arm Point through the community there which was very sleepy on a Sunday morning.
We watched a family cut up a huge sea turtle in the shallows for their dinner, which was pretty brutal but an interesting window into family life in the communities at the Cape. On the road out we stopped in at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm to have a look around but didn’t do a tour, just gawked at the expensive jewellery and had a cold drink and took off again.
I wish we’d had more time up there – The Dampier Peninsula and Cape Leveque are not to be missed. One of the most spectacular places in Australia, or the world, in my mind. We left the boys to deal with their hire car return and stopped in at Matso’s Brewery for ginger beer and cider, where we met Joey the aircraft engineer slash pilot, who was in town for a few days for work. We talked the evening away and continued on down the road to a cocktail/tapas bar called 18 Degrees that did a mean Espresso Martini and awesome food. A brilliant day!