Distance run in the last 21.5hrs; 67NM
Average speed; 3.1KN
Land is spotted shortly before lunch and one thing that stands out is a white hill at Cape Cuvier. First officer Dirk explains that it is salt, which is from the salt lake Macleod mined by Dampier Salt Pty who bulldoze the salt on to a conveyor belt which carries it to the bulk carriers which moor at the end of the jetty, the salt is then shipped to Japan.
At 1700 we can see land on the Port and Starboard side indicating that we are now entering into shark Bay. As we get closer to land there are more and more sightings of Humpback whales breeching. At 1900 Mainmast starts to get the anchor cable out of the foc’sle in preparation for our first anchorage in the morning at Dirk Hartog Island.
Dirk Hartog Island was named after Captain Dirk Hartog who arrived in October 1616 on the ship ‘Eendracht’. He left a plaque with his name and date of arrival at Cape Inscription. However in 1697, Flemish Captain William de Vlamingh found Captain Dirk Hartog’s weathered plaque and copied the inscription and added his own record on to a new plaque which was placed on top of the original. In 1772, French Captain Alesne de St Allouran landed on the Island and then claimed it for the French King. To prove his presence on the Island he buried a scroll and two coins which were laid undiscovered until as late as 1998.
This morning on deck we can see Dirk Hartog Island on the horizon and for the first time in days we can walk with ease around the ship as we re-enter sheltered waters. The weather is considerably cooler than when we left Exmouth seven days ago. As we approach the Island, the lighthouse can be seen at Cape inscription from the starboard side and off the port side there are almighty breakers smashing with incredible force as it hits the shoal.
At 1030 we get the boat over the side ready to go ashore and explore the historic Dirk Hartog Island.