We kicked off the day with a delicious and breezy breakfast that left us feeling energized and ready for yet another day of an exciting expedition. As we enjoyed our meal, humpback whales gracefully breached nearby. What an incredible sight! The sheer size and beauty of these magnificent creatures left us in awe, creating a lasting impression that we won’t forget.
The morning continued with a series of engaging presentations that expanded our knowledge of the natural world. At 9:30, we gathered in the lounge to join undersea specialist Adam Woolcott for his enlightening presentation entitled, “Cetaceans Revealed.” Adam’s expertise and passion for these marine mammals shone through as he shared captivating insights about the cetaceans. He enhanced our understanding of their behavior and habitats and also informed us about conservation efforts.
At 11:00, the lounge became a hub of avian enthusiasm as we joined ornithologist Dr. Pepper for his presentation on “Wild Waders: Shorebirds of the Kimberley.” Dr. Pepper’s wealth of knowledge and contagious enthusiasm for birds had us all engrossed as he introduced us to the diverse array of shorebirds found in the Kimberley region.
After a delicious lunch, we embarked on the expedition’s final round of Zodiac excursions to the Lacepede Islands. These small sand islands have an abundance of marine and avian life, including the largest colony of brown boobies in the world. On the way to the islands, we saw a pod of playful bottleneck dolphins and inquisitive brown boobies in flight. Inside the main lagoon, Zodiacs were surrounded by amazing wildlife, including a crocodile, green turtles, blacktip reef sharks, and stingrays. We also observed various birds, including lesser frigatebirds, sooty oystercatchers, ruddy turnstones, crested terns, eastern reef egrets, and silver gulls.
The eventful day concluded with the photo slideshow and the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. The ship’s return to the Kimberley region after an eight-year hiatus proved to be an unforgettable and awe-inspiring adventure!
Text and photos by Monika Moorman and Tina Zacherl, Grosvenor Teacher Fellows