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Larkabout 2009 The Larkin's World "Tantrum" tour 2008/2009.

Ashmore Reef

MALAYSIA | Sunday, 25 January 2009 | Views [1118]

And so we motored all the way to Ashmore reef, arriving about 11pm on Friday. Now here was a surprise. There was a bloody great boat in the anchorage when we got there. And just as we had finished shuffling about In the dark looking for one of the moorings that our government so thoughtfully provides, who should race up but two of Australian Customs finest  to lend assistance and say hello. The “Ashmore Guardian” is permanently stationed at Ashmore – apparently since around April this year – and is charged with um “hosting” the errant Indonesian fishermen who may have inadvertently wandered be-netted into Australia’s farthest flung marine park, until their pick-up and relocation by the quicker navy vessels who sweep through. The ship has about 6 Customs and Fisheries staff and the same number of crew, as the vessel is leased to the Govt.  They rotate through monthly. The boys (yep – the only female crew was the cook, who incidentally used to work for Kerry Packer, and does a nice line in Greek salad) also watch movies, work out, have a swim and run around Cartier Island. I think that pretty much covers it. And they invited us for lunch. Nice fish and chips (not locally caught), a lovely salad and a tour of the ship. All incredibly pleasant and like, totally whoa out of left field. After lunch they guided us to a mooring closer to the Island so we could go ashore and swim and stuff.
So the three of us (and our guardians) had a lovely couple of days at Ashmore. We did go ashore, being careful of all the big holes – the turtles were coming ashore to lay their eggs each night. The coral was healthy, there were turtles swimming all over the joint – curious little tackers – and an abundance of your tropical fish. Interestingly, there were few good size fish, and those were very wary.  The water was warm. Very warm, actually – about 38 degrees close to shore. We left thoroughly impressed with our tax dollars at work, and a carton each of orange juice and yoghurt from the “Guardian” that was about to go off.

Tags: ashmore reef “ashmore guardian” customs

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