This morning I was up before the alarm and did a few stretches to limber up my back and gently wake Pam. We had time for a leisurely breakfast of tea and toast, but the water here is proving to be a problem, and the first batch of tea and coffee we had to discard. It actually curdled the powdered milk in the coffee mix! If water will be to the 21th century what oil was to the 20th, Australia is going to be among the world’s poorest nations. The bottled water is passable, but the tap water is so saline – either through limestone content or chlorination or both – as to be practically unusable. Even showering in it is quite literally a distasteful experience.

But the big expectation of the day way going to be the dolphins. That is why we are in Monkey Mia. Apparently the dolphins – not trained, but live, ocean-going animals – have been coming in to Shark Bay and cavorting in the waters off Monkey Mia for some 30 years; long enough that the area has now been set aside as a nature preserve. They were due to arrive around 7:30 and we didn’t want to miss them. Unfortunately they didn’t show. Yesterday one of the young calves had beached itself, and the dolphins gave the place a pass today. We were disappointed, but not dismayed.

We booked the second of our two cruises and headed out for dolphin territory out in the bay. This time we saw plenty, along with loggerhead turtles, manta rays and dugongs (or manatees, if you prefer), who like the dolphins and the turtles come to the surface to breath before flashing their flukes and diving for more sea grass on which they feed. Apparently these creatures are both shy and rare, but we saw plenty today.
Once again the catamaran was smooth and steady and worst thing we had to deal with was how to stay out of as much sun as much we could. A canopy and loads of sunscreen were helpful, but the sights were difficult to ignore and we both probably got more sun today than is good for us. A quiet evening and day of driving tomorrow up to Coral Bay should take care of us.

We count ourselves among the more fortunate people on the planet not only to be able to do this, but to do this while we are both working very hard to serve the Lord in this part of the world. He is so gracious in allowing us this privilege, and then allowing us to see the beauty of His creation. The creatures we saw today, each unique, and uniquely adapted to their environment, show and honour His wonderful creation.

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