After a couple of days enjoying the quiet anchorage at Onslow we were keen to get out to the Montebello Islands.
|Sylvie's sailing lesson in our little dinghy Wanda|
|Chart of the Montebellos showing many uncharted areas|
|The fleet at Claret Bay|
|Sociailising at Pitt Point|
|Sylvie is a natural little skipper|
|Foray ashore - reading the warning signs|
|One of the many lagoons and ever-present military debris|
|Rusting remains of the 1950's British nuclear testing command centre|
|More abandoned debris|
Life below the surface of the water is abundant and varied. We snorkeled on reef which was full of colourful fish, coral, plants and quite a few things which we weren’t sure how to categorise. On one swim we were accompanied by a pair of copulating turtles a few metres away. It seemed a bit voyeuristic but we felt very blessed to be witnessing such a union.
|Exploring Stephenson's channel and Willy Nilly Lagoon|
|Low tide ripples|
|Stingray bed. They love to sunbathe in the shallows til the plug gets pulled!|
|Friends - baby shark and stingray basking together.|
|Low tide colours|
|Old grandma mangrove|
|Eggs on the rocks - no soft landing here|
|Underwater entry statement|
The young guys on the catamarans were such keen fishers, mostly spear fishing, that we were kept supplied with fish at all times without have to wet a line ourselves. The islands are a paradise if you are into fishing, spear fishing and surfing. In most conditions you can anchor the yacht near the reef where it all happens. We would like to have another visit with a bigger, faster dinghy so that we can explore further afield. Many places particularly in the north are only accessible by dinghy due to very shallow water.
|Turtle lagoon expedition|
|A little rain - a lot of blooms|
|Termite mounds everywhere|
|Hiding up a channel|
We eventually left the islands in the company of a big yellow cat called Cheetah at about 4am so that we would arrive in Dampier 70 miles to the east in daylight.
During our time at the Monte’s we clocked over 5,000 nautical miles (about 10,000 km) since we bought Upstart in Queensland in 2018. A milestone worthy of celebration!
|Cheers to 5,000 nautical miles|
|Thank you Upstart - our fabulous yacht.|