sharing recipes from one generation to the next
It’s a common fact that you learn something new every day. It’s also a wisely held belief that to live a full life you should confront something you fear every day. Well let me tell you that in the passed 24 hours I’ve been confronting my worst demons head on.
Firstly, I have flown in a light aircraft, not once but twice. I don’t mind flying in a jumbo when there is plenty of jet around me but a flimsy light aircraft with a single engine, banking this way and that to maximise photo opportunities is my worst nightmare. I sat rigid in my seat for 30 minutes yesterday, with sweaty palms, blindly aiming the camera at the view below and when banking steeply, keeping my eyes tightly closed. To maximise my fear the hot day was creating updrafts from the peaks below. The resulting turbulence all but finished me off.
Why did I suffer through this? It was the only way I was able to reach the remote Kimberley coast’s iconic Horizontal Waterfall, which leads me to my second challenge, several adrenaline charged jet boat rides through the falls on an outflowing 9 metre tide. I am definitely NOT an adrenaline junkie or a thrill seeker. I don’t even venture onto a fairground roller coaster, but riding this amazing natural phenomenon was truly memorable, which takes me to what I learned yesterday.
Deep in the Bucaneer Archipelago lies Talbot Bay and within the bay lies two narrow coastal gorges, parallel ridges of the McLarty Range. The seaward ridge has an opening of 20 metres, the second gap is just 10 metres wide. A mere 300 metres separates the two.
This region experiences extreme 10 metre tide heights, second only to Nova Scotia. When the conditions are right, the tidal pull results in the massive water flow banking up behind the narrow openings causing a water level variation of up to 5 metres and creating turbulent horizontal waterfalls. When the tide turns the phenomenon is repeated in the opposite direction. This natural feature is called a tidal pinch.
It is possible to drive a jet boat through the two gaps to the bay behind, but yesterday and again this morning the flow was so strong, the height of waterfall in the 10 metre gap about 3.5 metres in height making it far too treacherous to traverse, but that didn’t stop our boat driver idling at 12 knots to keep us steady in the outflow. Then he backed off, opened the 3 x 300hp engines full throttle and sped up through the gap, turned abruptly and shot back down the flow.
We booked our excursion with http://www.horizontalwaterfalladventures.com.au several weeks ago to ensure optimum tidal height for experiencing the falls. This professional operation offers overnight stays for 8 couples on a luxury houseboat moored in Talbot Bay, including late afternoon and early morning jet boat rides through the falls, swimming in a shark proof cage, fish feeding, dinner and breakfast, seaplane transfers from Derby and scenic flight over the Bucaneer Archipelago, a unique and thoroughly mind blowing experience.
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