Duplicat's Diary

Horizontal Falls
by Rick at 05:36:37, 2021-07-24 (day 2638)

Horizontal Falls is the name given to a natural phenomenon caused by the tide trying to squeeze through 2 narrow gaps here in the Kimberley. Its quite the business with seaplanes flying in from Broome and Derby to drop tourists off for runs in fast boats, helicopter trips and a barramundi lunch. A bargain at A$900 (helicopter trips extra)!

If you look on the map on this website, and press Toggle Charts, then Satellite to see the terrain, and zoom into the latest position - you can see the 2 gaps with the long, albeit narrow, bodies of water in between.

The narrow gap is something else. Its, obviously, a lot narrow - closer to 8m wide. They have set a safe limit to shoot that rapid of 1m height difference between the 2 bodies of water and at the time of tide we were there it was 3m. Thus the Horizontal Falls. We nosed up to it, dropped stern first into the maelstrom and relied on the 900hp to keep us there. What an incredible sight - its possible to see the drop in sea level in the first photo.

Really, it needs video to see how fast the water was running - nearly 20 knots. Think we won’t attempt it with our humble 20hp engine.

This is definitely one of the Kimberley top draw attractions for those unable to experience the lesser visited areas (as we can). Thus its pretty busy with cruise ships (2 today - Coral Adventurer and Eco Abrolhos), big charter yachts and the odd private yacht. The big yacht, Serenity VI looked like it was dragging whilst we left on our thrill run, and when we came back - 2 of the big ribs from the cruise ship had it under tow!

We’ll stay the night here - for once, wind and tide are working in our favour and we’re able to fully charge the batteries and make water. Tomorrow, early, we’ll head back up the main route in, and then head east towards an overnight anchorage, and maybe Montgomery Reef on Monday - another ‘top draw’ attraction…