We decided to spend a day at Rottnest Island, so very early one morning
we drove down to Freemantle Harbour to catch one of the frequent catamaran ferries.
This was great fun, since the vessel was limited to such a low speed within the Swan River Mouth it was the ideal opportunity to get my Video Camera out and get some nice pan shots of the area.
BUT...as we exited the harbour and the ocean suddenly became very choppy, the skipper of the ship opened her up with a loud roar of the huge diesel engines. I could see what was about to occur since I had positioned myself near the stern amongst a crowd of sightseers. I quite literally saved myself from a thorough soaking by making a dive for the inner cabin at the precise moment of the first huge tidal wave to engulf the rear decks. There was a series of ear splitting screams as the crowd of young girlies outside got very nearly drowned in the sea of spray swirling over them. It certainly gave me a laugh, since we were now well on our way, and they would stay soaked for a considerable time to come.
Arriving at Rottnest Harbour, we were faced with the choice of either hiring bicycles for the day, or getting an all day on/off bus ticket. We opted for the bus, since we were loaded down with drinks, food and my Video Camera bag. The bus idea sounded superb since there were no other vehicles allowed on the Island. There is only one route around the place, and a series of buses continually circulate, dropping off and picking up passengers at regular intervals. The only snag to this is, we always found ourselves between stops when we opted to walk for a while. The buses are not permitted to pick up passengers on the road, so several times we found ourselves faced with either a fair old trek to the next stop, or just hang around and wait awhile till a bus arrived that wasn't full to overflowing with camera toting holidaymakers.
It really is a beautiful place, and some of the little inlets and bays were simply made for snorkeling. We spent several hours just relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet that comes from the lack of crowds of people and no vehicles to pollute the atmosphere.
I spotted a massive Sea Eagle astride his nest on a large rock someway out to sea, and spent some time setting up my video camera to get a good shot of it.
The only close call I had during the day was when I inadvertently left my Video equipment on the bus as we returned to Rottnest Harbour. We'd only walked about 50 yards towards the bar for a much needed cool drink when my friend noticed I was a bit light on one shoulder. That was the fastest I'd moved all day, as I legged it back to the bus station at a breakneck pace. To my horror, I watched our bus disappearing into the distance. But thankfully some public spirited and honest person had handed my Camera Bag in before the bus departed. Phew...that was close!!! It wasn't so much the value of the camera I was concerned about, but rather the collection of memories from my 2 months in Oz all residing in the films within the bag.