How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Seven Spirit Bay Resort – Coral Bay

Tuesday 30th October 2012
sunrise and ALANA ROSE
Seven Spirit Bay Resort – Coral Bay
11’11.772S – 132’02.964E
0930hs: MrJ and I were back on board pulling up the anchor to motor back up the port to Coral Bay to drop anchor out from the Seven Spirit Bay Resort. I called the resort up on the radio asking permission to be anchored in their part of the bay and we greeted by a very friendly female voice on the other end, whom I was to find out later was the lovely Vicki, saying that we were most welcome to stay in the bay and was encouraged to come ashore at our leisure to make full use of the resorts facilities.
Vicki did mention that the resort was at the beginning of their close-down period, there were no guests at the resort, the manager was away but would be back on the flight in the next day and that it was the Chef’s day off but they would be most accommodating to our wishes. We were most welcome to join the staff for their meal that Vicki would be cooking, not the Chef, if that was alright. Obviously this was not the norm, MrJ and I didn’t mind, we were pleased to fit in with whatever was going as we were the ones who had dropped in unannounced without prior notice. As it turned out the evening meal with the resort staff turned out to be one of the best night that MrJ and I have had in a long time.
Graham and Kim with MrJ
After a little afternoon rest MrJ and I dinghy ashore to be greeted by Kim, the hostess with the mostest, with here reliable buggy to take us up the red dirt road to the resort. Kim escorts us into the opens air large main building, reception, office, bar and dining areas all under the one roof, to be introduced to the friendly Graham, Kim’s hubby and co-worker. The building was off a wood construction lending in with the natural tropical bush surrounds with different varieties of wood and cane being used for the main bar, the walls, the floor the furniture and the rafter in the high ceiling which had a number of ceiling fans circular cool refreshing air. I did notice bits and pieces here and there; shells, natural ornaments and aboriginal painting scattered tastefully throughout the building. One of the main features in the middle of the foyer was a display of a huge croc skull. Picking up from the conversation later on, this skull would have been about the same size as the croc that inhabited the beach just off from the resort. Wow, scary stuff!
out the back
MrJ and I were privileged in being a part of this special selection of people, sweet Kim the hostess with the mostest, friendly Graham front of house as well as general duties man with a wicked sense of humour, Chad the Head Chef who could whip up anything from nothing, a real comic who though we (MrJ and I) would be wanting a full three course meal prepare on our arrival (hahaha, he soon found out different), Vicki the cook(was and loads of fun) who cooked the staff meals and a mean chocolate fudge cake, Ian the boat, fishing man and anything else that was thrown his way was so down to earth with his dry bush humour, Petite the sweet little French girl who hated the spiders and the snakes with a passion but made up for this with her chirpy outlook did a bit of everything and the young German couple Lukas, who had won his working tour through a competition back in Germany did ground work and maintenance and Franci who helped in the kitchen to pay her way.  All staff at the Seven Spirit Bay Resort was multi tasked and very capable of doing most if not all of the varying jobs around the resort. I do know that they took turns at the nightly washing up even the boss.
wildlife in the garden
After a couple of cold beers at the bar and a great old chit chat with Kim and Graham, Vicki, Chad and Petite keep popping in and out and having a bit of a chat, MrJ and I went for a relaxing swim in the pool. The water temperature was certainly at Territory levels as by now the in ground temperature levels combined with the heat from the sun had really taken any chill off the pool water and I enjoyed my swim tremendously. The lush tropical garden pool surrounds were refreshing cool shading the deck area where we could laze around for as long as we had wanted to.
mealtime for the staff
The staff meal was also a farewell dinner to Petite, Lukas and Franci as they would be leaving the next day on the same flight that was bringing the boss Leith back along with a paying guest. Vicki prepared several yummy salads, potato salad, red cabbage coleslaw, a chopped tomato based salad through the steak and sausages on the BBQ where Graham helped with the cooking of and made this fabulous creamy Pepper Sauce that was so pleasing to the taste buds and didn’t burn your throat out. Yummo! Franci made a tradition German Apple Strudel having this with whipped cream. We all ate heartily while the conversation and humour flowed.



Wednesday 31st October 2012
another day, another sunrise
Kennedy Beach walk

MrJ and I had arranged for Kim to take us on one of the resorts’ tours out to Kennedy Bay, Kennedy Beach walk, the headland red cliffs and the miniature bats in one of the red cliffs, several other bush track and to the lookout over Gunner Quoin. All this would takes us two to three hours so it was decided that we would head off at 0800hs before the real heat of the day set in. The tide was on the turn so that by the time we got to some of the place it would leave long shoaling sandy beachfronts to walk along and expose the great sandbars at Gunners Quoin. All of the tour was absolutely magnificent; from tropical dry season bushland to majestic exposed red/red through yellow to white raw cliff face with small secret hollowed out caves and crevices and the tough little bushes and bigger trees clinging to the rock face or the cliff’s edge by a maze of roots.
another resort 4X4
Kennedy Beach
On the our ride along the bush tracks I did recognize the Pandanus trees, the Banyan trees, the Kapok trees, the Paperbark tree, Native Hibiscus and the Casuarina trees but am not up on the different native fruit trees. The natural wild bushland supports wallabies, banteng, water buffalo, numerous lizards, goannas, snakes, jungle fowl, bandicoots, possums, other rodents, bats, flying foxes, native honey bees, various birds and the termites which build the multitude of ant mounds that the Territory is famous for. The coastal area, beach and sand dunes attract goannas, turtles, and crocodiles, water birds (egrets, cormorants, white-headed shelducks and herons).
snack time
red cliffs

MrJ and I spent much of our time with Kim walking along the long sandy beaches as well as driving through the bush.

At the tide exposed sandy beach, which we needed to climb down a steep embankment to get to, where the magnificent red/red cliff walled the land was hiding in a small secret cave the tiny bats, Microbats, all huddled together against any intruding bright light in the further most corner of the cave ceiling. So tiny but so cute!

Australian Microbats
As in some other groups of Australian animals (e. g. marsupials), in bats the larger species are herbivores and the smaller ones are carnivores. Microbats are nocturnal predators and live either alone or in groups but they don’t hang off trees. During the day they roost in caves, tree hollows, tunnels, or abandoned mines. Microbats’ eyes are very small.

They don’t rely on eyesight for finding their prey, instead they send out sound pulses between 5 and 200 kHz and pick them up with their large ears as they bounce back, telling the bat the location, size and moving speed and direction of its prey. Microbats need a lot of energy to fly and to replace the body heat that goes out through the large wing and ear surfaces. A microbat can eat 50% of its body weight every night. But during the winter the food is scarce and some species of microbats migrate, others hibernate.
bat cave

Kim had provided cool water to quench our thirst in the tropical heat, fresh fruit and nuts to snack on when hungry and towels for us to sit on to prevent our sweaty bodies from sticking to the truck/land cruiser long-wheel-based tour wagon’s seats.

The last stop was the cliff lookout over Gunner’s Quoin which lies on the western side of Coral Bay. The shore is low and wooded as far as the cliff which was named for its shape after the wedges used by Nelson’s gunners to elevate cannons. Gunner’s Quoin provides a great boaties’ landmark for Coral Bay with its variety of anchorages. Out from the cliff there is a large fringing reef and a small sand island.
Graham, Ian, Vicky, Kim
Back at the resort MrJ and I thank Kim for her our fabulous morning, her time and effort than head back to AR for our afternoon rest to return to the resort swimming pool in the late afternoon. This time we did not have the resort and pool all to us alone, the guest, Fiona, had arrived and was lazing by the pool. After a polite casual introduction MrJ and I took our swim then retired to the bar where the conversation was not as boisterous as the previous day’s. At this time we were to meet the resort’s manager Leith, a good looking young man in a rugged sort of way. He was in his mid to late 20’s, very proficient in management and well equipped for handling the bush ways. All the staff had praised Leith highly.
Ian and MrJ in the staff room
MrJ and I stayed for another delicious meal with the staff. This time we were once again privileged and with Leith’s permission, to be able to join the staff at their table out the back of the kitchen while Fiona had the entire restaurant by herself. You helped yourself from a spread of Vicki’s delicious mousaka, couscous, steamed cauliflower and peas with waffles, ice-cream and chocolate sauce for desert washed down with a couple of beers. Vicki brought us out from the kitchen a mud crab wonton each to taste. Just melt in your mouth yummo!  I was now feeling like a stuffed pig but a very happy one!

Terrifying, ancient, and resilient – crocodiles are among the most fascinating animals in the Northern Territory.
The Australian continent has steamy tropical rainforests in the far north, snow capped mountains in the south, and hot dry deserts in the centre. Native bees can be found in most of Australia’s diverse habitats. Multitudes teem through the carpets of flowers in our heathlands and swarm around the blossoms at the tops of gum trees. Some species burrow into the desert sands whilst others nest inside straggly trees near isolated waterholes.
The female Golden Orb Weaver is a large spider with grey body and black and yellow banded legs. The male is much smaller and brown or reddish-brown in colour. The female builds a large vertical web with golden threads. The spider remains in the web all day.
Chad the best Chef.....!

After diner MrJ and I said our farewells, with trusty torch shining, waddled back down the red dirt track to the resort’s pontoon leaving our hosts to retire to their own cabins for the night. Down at the pontoon we came across the three young fellas off the fishing boat that was alongside for the second night. Two were sitting casually on the dock while the third young fella was cooking their meal on a BBQ or portable stove on the back deck of their boat. These were not fishermen, they were collectors; the three had a licence to collect live corals, shells and sea creates for a saleable market. Their collecting took them far and wide to keep from over taking from the one spot. The collectors were in this area for four days and would spend each night in one of staff huts after sorting their day’s haul and cooking their meal. The three young fellas prefer the comfort of the staff hut to sleeping on the boat, so would I!

That evening MrJ and I sat in the cockpit for a while before turning in, catching the slight breeze that funnelled through the opening in the covers. The next day we would be moving a little closer toward Darwin.

1 comment:

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