The coastline of northern Western Australia is one of the world's most beautiful. A superb way to appreciate the magnificence of the area is on a Kimberley Sailing Safari. More intimate than larger cruises, you have the chance to see secret areas of the Kimberley with a maximum of ten passengers and a flexible itinerary.
The Getaway crew took a charter with King Leopold Air to Cape Leveque aboard a Cessna, ideal aircraft for Kimberley conditions.
Marine biologist, Richard Davis, welcomed the crew on to Sundancer, a luxury 15-metre motor sailing catamaran, with a glass of crisp bubbly wine.
The vessel was designed for cruising amongst the Buccaneer and Bonaparte archipelagos of the Kimberly Coast. It is constructed from aluminium for strength and durability, and its large motors allow extended cruising. When the winds are fair, it cruises under a sailing rig.
It is equipped with the latest electronic navigation system and has two tender vessels for use to explore the coast up close.
There are two luxury staterooms in the bow, two deluxe double cabins and a budget twin cabin suitable for a single traveller or two children on a family charter. Each cabin and the main saloon are air conditioned and there is ample refrigerator and freezer space. Delicious meals are prepared by a gourmet chef and, of course, seafood of all sorts prevails.
Once on board you choose what you want to do. You can fish, go beachcombing, bird and whale watch or rest and relax. Don't be deterred by the name, but when you reach Crocodile Creek, a natural spring, it is very safe and refreshing for a swim. Be sure to check out the barbecue shelter where visitors have left rather unusual mementos of their visits.
During August and September the islands and reefs of the Kimberley come to life with hundreds of humpback whales. They enjoy the warm waters, food supply and solitude of the area. Humpback calves are born with little body fat and would not survive the icy waters of the Antarctic so adult whales seek the warmer waters for mating and birthing.
You will probably also spot irrawaddy dolphin, found only in the Kimberley area and Burma. There are also pods of Indo Pacific humpback dolphins and dugongs around.
The beautiful jabiru is the only Australian stork. It stands up to 137 cms, has black and white body plumage, glossy dark green and purple neck, massive black bill and long, coral coloured legs. There are also dancing brolgas. They gather in numbers from small groups to flocks of several hundred.
There will be an abundance of wildlife to admire giant green turtles, fruit bats, estuarine crocodile, mud crabs, and nabarlek, a small kangaroo with soft, woolly fur.
Passengers are usually met by a curlew on the white sands of Silica Beach. It is just checking that no one interferes with its nest.
There are around three thousand islands in the Bonaparte and Buccaneer archipelagos, stretching north towards Wyndham, and there is nothing like them at sunset.