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Dolphins, Mills, and Island secrets

Recently, the Probus Club of Eaton embarked on an exciting adventure. They boarded a bus and journeyed to Mandurah, eager for a lunch cruise that promised exploration of the Peel Inlet and the Murray River.

The voyage began with a scenic tour through Mandurah's bustling canals, showcasing the city's modern developments. Soon, however, civilisation faded into the distance. The boat glided past mud islands and sandbanks adorned with reeds and saltbush. A captivating display of wildlife unfolded – graceful swans, majestic pelicans, watchful ospreys, and even tiny Siberian visitors. To the delight of the passengers, the crew surprised them with a delightful snack spread: cheeses, cold meats, olives, and biscuits. The bar was also open for refreshments, adding to the relaxed atmosphere.

After a leisurely hour, the cruise reached a sandy island veiled in sheoaks. In Cooleenup Island, a guide awaited them, ready to lead the group down a surprisingly well-maintained pathway. As they walked, the guide shed light on some of the island's challenges, particularly the issue of sewage disposal for permanent residents. The path then took an unexpected turn, revealing a sight that stopped them in their tracks: a historic grain mill, remarkably like the one found near the freeway in South Perth. Built in 1843 by Joseph Cooper, this mill had been meticulously restored.

Returning to the boat, they continued their journey upstream, cruising until they could glimpse the Forrest Highway bridge in the distance. It was then time to turn around and head back. To complete this perfect day, a sumptuous lunch was served – an array of cold cuts, salads, succulent prawns, and delightful desserts. As they neared Mandurah, a magical encounter capped off the experience. Three playful dolphins decided to join the party, surfing the boat's bow wave for an extended period. Their proximity allowed everyone to marvel at their beauty.

This unforgettable day offered a perfect blend of exploration and relaxation. The feeling of drifting down the river, akin to Huckleberry Finn's adventures, was truly special. However, as with all adventures, reality beckoned, and it was time to return to their bus. Nevertheless, the memories of this wonderful day would undoubtedly linger.