It was an early start for guests on National Geographic Orion, but a beautiful sunrise and great conditions awaited us. Guests boarded Zodiacs for a fifteen-minute ride to Montgomery Reef, one of the most remarkable natural attractions in the Kimberley region.
This amazing structure is a flooded, flat-topped mountain. Over 400 square kilometers in area, it seems to rise out of the ocean as the tide recedes. At high tide, the structure is over four meters below the waterline. As these huge tides rise or fall, water cascades off the top of the reef down into small channels. Expedition staff travelled with guests on Zodiacs along one of the larger channels and pushed up into the receding rapids. It made for a spectacular show. Several eastern reef egrets, both pale and dark morphs, fished on the edge of the rapids and fed on the fish that came tumbling over the reef.
The afternoon’s activity was a lovely Zodiac cruise around Doubtful Bay. Massive orange sandstone escarpments were the backdrop. The blue seas were calm and clear, and we had warm and sunny weather. It was a great way to spend an afternoon. We were lucky enough to see a fledgling eastern osprey on a nest preparing for an independent life and a huge white-bellied sea eagle soaring against the orange sandstone and brilliant blue sky.
Back on the ship, we enjoyed sunset cocktails on the top deck and a gourmet dinner. We enjoyed stargazing under the clear, moonless sky. It was a day never to be forgotten.