Friday, 31st August – Coral Discoverer

Now finally back online and connected with reality (i.e. the Internet) via the free wifi at our hotel in Broome – see later.

Got up at some horrendously early hour for the third day running to catch a cab at 7.45 a.m. to take us to Fort Hill Wharf in Darwin for the start of our 10-day cruise to Broome around the north-west coast of Australia. This cab ride, at least, passed off without incident……

The ship, the Coral Adventurer, is run by Coral Expeditions, and is a small ship designed for work close inshore. 36 rooms/72 people only. Registration was swift, efficient and friendly.
A very impressively appointed ship and a very nice room:

The usual, legally necessary safety briefing ensued. A presentation then by Steve, one of the three staff on board who will be our guides and informants over the next 10 days, with regard to an optional helicopter flight over the Mitchell Falls. Although expensive, not an opportunity to be missed, so we signed up.

Lunch was buffet style, accompanied by two Australian couples who were friendly and chatty. Nice food without being fantastic, though accompanied by complimentary wine of a decent standard. A humpback whale was spotted (but not by us) leading to some excitement.
Then a presentation from Ian Morris, the “resident” naturalist. This well and truly whetted my appetite for what is to come.
Later, the leader of the expedition (Jamie), presented some highlights of our itinerary for the whole trip. Proper “wow!” stuff just added to the level of expectation.
Captain’s drinks (although he didn’t show up until later) gave us the opportunity to socialise. The Aussies do seem a pretty friendly lot, I must say…..
Dinner next. Buffet style and another chance to meet others. Food good, but again, not outstanding.

And so to bed – yet another early get-up (6 a.m.!) for our trip tomorrow.

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