For a few years now, I’ve sat at Town Beach Café in Broome, looking out over Roebuck Bay, not realizing that part of Australia’s history lay below the turquoise waters.
Australians remember the day the Japanese bombed Darwin. The first of these attacks took place on the 19th February, 1942 and they continued until November 1943. Other Australian towns were also the target of Japanese air attacks including Broome.
On March 3rd 1942, nine Japanese aircraft attacked fifteen flying boats that were refuelling in Roebuck Bay. These planes, belonging to Qantas, the Royal Australian Airforce, the Royal Netherlands Navy and the US Navy, were transferring mainly women and children refugees from Java to southern states of Australia.
The wrecks of these flying boats are located one kilometre from the Town Beach shore and can only be reached at low tide. As we left the shore at 6.30 in the morning, we could not see the planes but followed the trail of people out to sea.
The mangroves were high in the water, their trunks and the nearby rocks exposed.
An early morning mist was coming in creating an eery feeling. Looking back at the shore you could easily see it approaching.
As mud slushed between our toes and the water got deeper, it was a race against time as the tide slowly crept in. If only we had left a half an hour earlier!
Then we saw them….silhouetted against the horizon.
The water had started to rise covering the lower part of the planes but most of the mud covered remains could still be seen.
We headed back towards the shore towards another plane. The tide seemed to becoming in quicker now or was it my imagination!
Closer to shore I could take my time exploring the ocean floor and the small creatures that could now be seen.
Two turtles had been caught by the receding waters and were now waiting for the tide to take them back to sea.
Small green worms could be seen scurrying along the sand, sand slugs slid by, molluscs lay open on the sand and many different coloured seaweeds decorated the sea floor.I particularly loved the small ones that looked like a miniature cactus forest.
Coffee and breakfast awaited us at the Town Beach Cafe where we watched the mist reappear and the tide bring the water come closer to shore, swallowing the mangroves.
Twice a day these tides can rise and fall by up to nine metres creating an ever-changing view of Roebuck Bay.
This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Pop over and see the other other contributions.