Rooftop tents are a great thing ... except when you're stuck on a particularly windy stretch of coast with no trees to shelter behind. The tent has flapped all night long so we've not had much sleep and early morning it's not letting up, so we end up getting up much earlier than usual.
We're camped right by Yardie Creek, a lovely gorge that comes out to Ningaloo Reef. Decide to take a a pre-breakfast walk up the top of the gorge to check it out. It's lovely, all steep red walls straight into clear water in the gorge. Like everywhere up here, the water levels are high due to the recent rains.
Next stop is Turquoise Bay, which has some of the best snorkelling in WA. It's great, you just walk down the beach about 300m, walk 50 odd metres into the water and the current drifts you over amazing coral beds and marine life. Snorkelling makes you feel like a kid again - floating over these amazing scapes making up stories about the fish who are wearing colours so fabulous they look like exotic nightclub creatures. Even with the skies overcast and grey the colours are still incredible. The only thing you have to be careful about is getting out at the end of the beach, otherwise you can be swept between the reef and out to sea - not a good move, especially with those pesky sharks around.
Out of the water we're off to investigate the tracks leading away from the coast, hoping to find some more gorges. The tracks are rocky and a bit hairy and we get to put the car into 4wd, which is always good fun. We don't find any more gorges, but end up on a plateau that runs along the Reef which has some tops views of the coastline.
The Rig has developed a worrying new habit where it suddenly loses all power, which will need to be checked out. Damn thing.
No day on the coast is complete without a surf, then we set up campsite right on the coast, but this time in a slightly more protected spot, at Ned's camp in Cape Range National Park. Thankfully the wind isn't as violent and we have a bit more protection. Too tired to cook anything but packet soup (yep, standards are slipping badly) and eventually get chased to bed by a cranky crab who wont piss off.
Check out Stu's photos of Yardie Creek etc at Flickr.