So it wasn’t a picture-postcard day, we saw a pretty amazing sight anyway

Listen, when you get a cruise brochure and you see all those gorgeous photos of the places you’re going to visit, it gets you pretty excited, right? Golden beaches, deep blue skies, swaying palms. But it’s not always like that, right? Sometimes a little Photoshop is involved but usually it’s just bad luck. Like today.

We were anchored in “iconic Wineglass Bay in the centre of Freycinet National Park. You’ll arrive to find the view is spectacular, with dramatic red granite peaks reflecting in clear blue waters and a near-perfect circle of white sand forming the beach of the bay.”

That’s from the description in the daily newsletter Brando, my cabin steward, puts on my pillow every night. So heck, I was pretty excited this morning to wake up early and have my first look at “iconic” Wineglass Bay. Except I couldn’t really see it. Because it was raining and the wind was blowing so hard that it was picking up the spray off the white caps and pushing them horizontally over the ocean.

A Zodiac traveling in Wineglass Bay

Take a look at the photo I took this morning. That’s of one of the Zodiacs headed for our “wet landing” at Wineglass Bay with the Orion in the background. See the “near-perfect circle of white sand forming the beach of the bay”? Me neither.

But here’s the thing: It was great fun anyway. There were twin brothers in my Zodiac, 9-year-olds from Melbourne with their mother, and they couldn’t have had more fun. Just as some spray came up over the bow of the tender and soaked their little heads, up popped a dozen or more dolphins right beside us. They ran along side our Zodiac and in front of us and underneath us and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had.

Then, as we were slowly motoring around the bay, a seagull dropped down out of the sky right in front of us and took up a foot-long mullet. We gasped over that but what came next was even better: Watching all this from a naked limb of an Oyster Bay pine along the shoreline was a white-belly sea eagle who took to the air and then swarmed down like a kamikaze pilot, swiping the still-struggling fish from the beak of the surprised and offended seagull. We watched the sea eagle take the fish back to his perch and commence with his breakfast. Dramatic and unbelievable. And not something you could script.

So even when things don’t go exactly as planned, they can turn out bloody interesting. You just have to go with the flow.



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