Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Today we decided to head back to Rockingham to do a boat cruise through the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park to see both the penguins on Penguin Island and the Sea Lions and Dolphins.

The tour was very reasonably prices $38 per head for seniors, and we spent the morning either cruising or on Penguin Island.  It was well worth the money as we saw heaps.  
On the jetty waiting for our cruise vessel..
Looking across to the boat ramp at Penguin Island
Here comes our boat...
The ferry we will catch back from Penguin Island
Off on another adventure
Our adventure began when we  boarded our glass bottom boat for a leisurely 45 minute cruise through Shoalwater Bay’s wildlife sanctuary zone.  The 45 minute boat cruise took us around the ruggedly spectacular islands and crystal clear waters of the Marine Park  We saw giant osprey, cormarants, terns,  nesting seagulls and  one of the largest pelicans rockeries in Western Australia,  and other sea birds. It was great just seeing them in their nature state and their own environment.   We got to drift over limestone reefs and seagrass meadows.  
large Ospreys sitting on top of this rock...
 We were then taken to Seal Island to see the rare Australian Sea Lions and immediately spotted two lazing on the beach sunbathing.. Seal Island is home to male sea lions only. 
Sea lions lazing about on Seal Island

It is a total Batchelor Pad, with the sea lions migrating almost 100kms  north every 18 months to mate with female sea lions.  After making sure that they have every poor female pregnant, they then head back to Seal Island, bringing back their older male offsprings.  
Female sea lions pretty much spent their lives being pregnant. 

Mother Pelican feeding her baby
There were quite a few pelicans on the island also, and we were able to witness a mother pelican feed one of her babies.  It almost seemed like she was swallowing the bird in her effort to feed it. 
Clouds in the sky for a change

From here we went closer to shore to see if we could find some dolphin.  They were the main attraction, and we were lucky today to spot a Mother with her new born calf.  We watched her teaching her calf how to catch fish.  A baby dolphin calf can stay with it’s mother for up to six years as it learns the necessary skills to survive in the wild.  They came up very close to our boat, even going underneath us at one stage.  All very exciting.  
Penguin Island - nesting place for the pelican
and many other birds
Arriving on Penguin Island
Wrecked car almost buried in the sand...
Our tour concluded on Penguin Island were we were able to wander through the Discovery Centre there to view the fairy penguins.  One of the other things we noticed were the number of seagulls on the island.  It is also a nesting area for them too, and we were able to see lots of seagull eggs and baby seagulls.  This was definitely a first for us all.
Seagull chicks
Seagull eggs.
We still had a good hour and a half until feeding time, so the others went for a quick walk around the island.   

Hundreds of Pelicans nesting on Penguin Island.

I chose not to as I wasn’t feeling the best today, feeling a little off in the stomach and almost a little giddy.

Instead, I decided to face time Willow and take her back inside the discovery centre to see the Penguins.  We had a great time of interacting with them together.  She was fascinated by them and asked lots of really good questions. 

We were fortunate that one of the staff members was cleaning the penguin pool before feeding time, and she was happy to answer some of Willow’s questions.  Love having these opportunities to share special things like this with our grandchildren.
Penguin Feeding time....
He is a little show off...
This is Kevin... He thinks he's a human and follows the staff around everywhere..
The rest hop in the water to get fed..
Kevin get's hand fed....
The others arrived back in time for the penguin feeding session at 12.30pm.  This was well done with our guide giving us more information on these amazing little creatures.  The Discovery Centre is home to 10 little penguins whom it was deemed were unfit to be released back into the wild as they would not survive. 

The cutest little Penguin was a little guy named Kevin, who was rescued at weight weighing have it’s birth weight of 40gms.   At 20gms they did not expect him to survive even with round the clock care and feeding.  The staff here are all very attached to Kevin, and he things he is one of them.  He is the only one that won’t hop in the pool to be fed, instead, standing next to the bucket where they hand feed him.  
Saw this fellow on our way out to catch the ferry.
Totally car wreck....
Waiting to catch the ferry back to the mainland
Leaving Penguin Island
The feeding session lasted for approximately half an hour which then gave us about 10-15 minutes to get back to the jetty to catch the ferry back to the main land.  We have really enjoyed this cruise and island visit, as it really did represent great value for money, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone passing through Rockingham or Mandurah.
Lunch on the foreshore in Rockingham

We were all feeling a little hungry, so we headed into Rockingham to pick up some Subway for lunch and head to the beach.  I am really loving this state, one thing about Western Australia,  they do beaches well, with plenty of parklands along the foreshores of their beaches.  Rockingham was particularly well done in that it had plenty of sheltered picnic tables everywhere. 

 I think both Kathy and I must have picked up some sort of virus as we are both feeling very ordinary today.  In fact I woke this morning with my head spinning, and it is just getting worse.  My balance is really off, and everything I start to look down, it starts to spin.  We headed back to the car, and decided to take the scenic route back to Mandurah via the Serpentine National Park, where we stopped off to do a walk down to Serpentine Falls.  I certainly didn’t feel up to any walking at all, but was quite happy to lay in the car whilst the others did the walk.  

Serpentine Falls
Lots of really huge lobsters were seen here....
 It was really lovely, and they all enjoyed it.  It was only about 700m to the falls, so not a big walk and it was an easy walk.  Pity I wasn’t up to it as it really sounds like one of my walks…

We left there around 3.30pm to head home, stopping first to photograph this beautiful old church called St. Stephens, which was built in the early 1900s.  Of course we had to take photos…..
We arrived home by 4.30pm and by this stage, all I wanted to do was hit the bed.  In fact for most of the drive home I had my eyes closes so that the dizzy feeling was not as bad. 
It was home to bed for me, couldn’t face the thought of dinner, which was pretty much how Kathy was feeling the previous evening, so Steve joined them for dinner at their place, and I just hit the sack.  Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow as once again we are on the move…..

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