Pick up at 8.20 and we were on our way to Broom Airlines. Our substitute trip to Horizontal Falls was on.
There were two groups of 4. One being our group the other another 4 from Brisbane.
Our two pilots introduced themselves – Michael and Bayley, a couple of young mavericks who looked like they’d just hurried from bed to be there!
No safety talk. Just a ‘listen carefully if I tell you something’ and out we walked to the plane. Or a mosquito as I referred to it. Tiniest plane I’ve ever been on. And quite old looking. Oh well we trust our Top Gun pilot.
And with a quick tuneup we were off and away. It was a beautiful day. Clear blue skies, not a cloud and no wind – perfect.
We all had our headphones on with a little mic to talk to Michael and each other.
We flew over a crocodile park, a meat works, lots of trees, aboriginal communities.
We continued north over Derby and into Horizontal Falls. Stunning blue waters, the tidal rush between the 10 metre wide rock faces were making a surf like effect. This was where the jet boat hit the rock face.
We saw the pontoon and houseboat we were meant to stay on.
We circled around and around taking in the beauty of this place. So many little islands. This cluster of many islands is known as the Buccaneer Archipelago.
We double backed towards Cygnet Bay. This beautiful area is home to the pearl farm that produces some of the most valuable pearls in the south seas.
We landed at a little red dirt airstrip and were collected in a small bus and taken to the pearl farm for a tour and lunch.
Cygnet Bay Pearl farm began when Dean Brown headed north of Broome in 1948 and started pearling. His son Lyndon Brown was the first non Japanese to culture a pearl.
Now it takes the provenance of each pearl very seriously. They can tell you the location found, size, lustre, blemishes of each pearl. They run a very impressive business.
Our guide Stephen has worked for the company for quite a few years and is passionate about this industry.
He took us through the steps that are needed to have a good pearl. It takes several years of caring for the oysters to help them grow a good pearl.
We then had a lesson in identifying the features of a pearl. Lustre, shape, colour, size, surface. Each one plays a part in the value of a pearl.
We moved into the gallery shop where I took my time to find something that ‘spoke’ ’ to me. Find something? I did. For my 0 birthday later this year. ……… all shall be revealed later.
We had a lovely lunch in the little restaurant upstairs overlooking the beautiful bay.
While Jill and I contemplated a swim – as nice as it looked we decided not to get all wet for our trip back. We decided on a Prosecco instead to celebrate my purchase.
We headed back to the red runaway and in the blink of an eye Michael had us up in the sky.
We followed the coast back and marvelled at the colours and the effect the huge tides have on the coast line and the sand and mangroves.
We flew over two islands with iron ore mining being carried out.
As we headed further south we saw a few campers with their 4 wheel drives. How remote they are. How lucky they are to have these areas to themselves.
We flew over our resort and a few minutes later we landed.
A perfect trip.
Back at Cable Beach we headed to the pool for a swim and a cocktail before our second flying treat for the day. A trip to the local outdoor theatre Sun Cinema an outdoor theatre. Tonight the movie was ……Top Gun: Maverick. What a great movie to finish off our flying adventure.
We sat in canvas deck chairs eating pizza sipping a beer under the clear skies. Twice planes flew overhead – so appropriate to the movie!
We all loved it. Even Tom Cruise.