Odyssey

PHOTO BLOG: MELISSA’S 9 DAY CRUISE ON ODYSSEY

Melissa “I recently joined Odyssey’s fantastic 9 day Mitchell Plateau expedition. I was escorting a group of photographers, including my friend Al Mackinnon who flew all the way from England for the cruise.

Al’s article was published on the Matador Network – the web’s largest travel magazine. You can read the full article here  ‘By Water and Air: 41 Gorgeous, Wild Images from the Kimberley in Australia’.

ALMACK Below are my top 15 photos from his article about our cruise.

All photos and captions by: Al Mackinnon

This blog by: Melissa (Liss) Connell, Kimberley Cruise Centre marketing lady

MY TOP 15 PHOTOS FROM AL’S ARTICLE ABOUT OUR CRUISE:

# 1: HOMER, THE TENDER

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“Liss Connell, appreciating the rock formations in the towering cliffs as we cruise to another destination too shallow (or narrow) for Odyssey, but just right for the tender.”

# 2: THE ODYSSEY CATAMARAN, OUR TRUSTY STEED FROM ABOVE

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“Our home for the duration, replete with launches, tender (‘Homer’) and omnipresent sharks.”

# 3: RAFT POINT

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“Raft Point is sacred to Aboriginal peoples and the site of much indigenous art.”

# 4: INDIGENOUS ART

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“The Kimberley possesses a wealth of aboriginal art, the scope of which is found nowhere else in Australia. Perhaps the most fascinating and unique of all are the 20,000+ year old ‘Bradshaws’ or ‘Gwion Gwion’ paintings, that barely resembled any other indigenous Australian art I’d encountered and reminded me of pictures I’d seen in Papua New Guinea. First discovered and recorded by pastoralist Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, the attribution of these paintings is hotly contested amongst archaeologists and rock art experts, with particular controversy sparked by Grahame Walsh’s research. The formal identification of the creators could have far reaching implications with regards to native title claims in The Kimberley, which are hugely important as large mining companies and governments try to exploit the lands for myopic, finite financial gain.”

# 5: HORIZONTAL FALLS, TALBOT BAY

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“When David Attenborough describes Horizontal Falls as “one of the greatest wonders of the natural world” you know we’re talking about something rather spectacular. The ‘pinch rapids’ are formed between two gaps in the McLarty Range, when huge tidal differences of up to 10.8 metres (35 foot+) result in a build up of seawater on one side as the tide changes. The bottleneck produces waterfalls up to 5 metres high on the biggest of tides between the ancient, vivid, multi-coloured sandstone, siltstone, shale, dolomite, and quartzite cliffs.”

# 6: BILLABONGS (WATERING HOLES)

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“Most days we would take our tender, Homer, into secluded creeks and trek up to fresh water swimming holes, these are just a couple of the peaceful havens where we idled away a few hours.”

# 7: BILLABONGS (WATERING HOLES)

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See previous caption

# 8: KING CASCADES, PRINCE REGENT RIVER

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“Something I’d never anticipated was parking a large boat under a waterfall, but that’s exactly what our skipper, Mark Raissis, did, deftly nosing the bow of Odyssey under the stunning King Cascades so we could take a freshwater shower.King Cascades has a sinister and gruesome secret: on March 29th, 1987, Ginger Meadows, an American model — inspired to visit The Kimberley after watching the movie ‘Crocodile Dundee’ — was eaten alive by a large saltwater crocodile at the foot of King Cascades, a day before her 25th birthday. Meadows and a friend, Jane Burchett, were confronted by the creature whilst playing in waist deep water on a ledge below the falls. With nowhere to go and the crocodile only a few feet away, Meadows panicked and attempted to swim to dry land nearby. She never made it. After swimming just a few metres, the hunter attacked, grabbing Meadows by the hips and dragging her below the surface, before briefly resurfacing. It’s said Meadows silently reached to the onlookers for help, but it was too late and in an instant the croc was gone. It took an expert search party two days to find the body; the croc had stored the armless body for a future meal.

A mystery has persisted ever since the body was found: Meadows was rumoured to have been wearing a several hundred thousand dollar diamond ring at the time of the attack, but its whereabouts remain unknown. Is there a croc with expensive taste still working the banks of the Prince Regent River?”

# 9: KIMBERLEY WILDLIFE

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“Nesting Osprey (Pandion Haliatus), coming into land.”

# 10: TURQUOISE WATERS

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“Turquoise waters, countless sandy bays, mangrove lined chalky-green hued inlets…”

# 11: KIMBERLEY SUNSETS

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“The most cliché of subjects? Very possibly, but breathtaking sunsets were an almost daily occurrence, there was something about the light and the vivid colour that I felt it would be remiss not to include such an integral part of the experience.”

# 12: HELI FLIGHT: AERIAL HIGHLIGHTS, EN ROUTE TO MITCHELL PLATEAU AIRSTRIP

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(No caption supplied by Al), so I’ll add a caption … “Lift-off from Naturaliste Island. A scenic chopper flight over the Kimberley coastline, culminating at the Mitchell Plateau airstrip where we boarded our light aircraft flight back to Broome”.

# 13: HELI FLIGHT: AERIAL HIGHLIGHTS, EN ROUTE TO MITCHELL PLATEAU AIRSTRIP

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“The sensational Mitchell Falls (right) with Big Mertens Falls adjacent (top left).”

# 14: LIGHT AIRCRAFT: AERIAL PERSPECTIVES, MITCHELL PLATEAU TO BROOME

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“Rivers are one of the most stunning pieces of The Kimberley puzzle, invaluable to the indigenous peoples, who seemed to have an almost supernatural ability to visualise the landscape. Looking at the earth from the air, it was clear there could be no coincidence in their common deity, the creator god and giver of life, being the ‘Rainbow Serpent’. The snaking rivers are the giver of life, the lifeblood of the region.”

# 15: LIGHT AIRCRAFT: AERIAL PERSPECTIVES, MITCHELL PLATEAU TO BROOME

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“Cable Beach, Broome — This fabulous white sand beach stretches for 22 kilometres (13.6 miles), north from the town of Broome and received its name after the first telegraph cable laid connecting Broome and Java in the late 1800s.”

SUMMARY: FINAL WORDS FROM AL, THE PHOTOGRAPHER

“Special thanks to Melissa Connell and the tireless crew of Odyssey: Mark Raissis, Dylan Mulherin, Liam Mattingly, Paige Quinn and Sam Belotti. You made the trip of a lifetime even more memorable, your unbridled dedication to meeting passengers’ needs and unwavering professionalism is second to none.”