Coral Bay – WA Youth Camp
Time set aside enjoying God’s creation
In this day and age with people living such busy lives, we are thankful to God for giving us such wonderful counsels in the Spirit of Prophecy which we can all benefit from, in our practical lives. “Let families unite together and leave their occupations which have taxed them physically and mentally, and make an excursion out of the cities and villages a few miles into the country, by the side of a fine lake, or in a nice grove, where the scenery of nature is beautiful. They should provide themselves with plain, hygienic food, and spread their table under the shade of a tree, or under the canopy of heaven provided with the very best of fruits and grains. The ride, the exercise, and the scenery, will quicken the appetite, and they can come around a repast which kings might envy.” Review and Herald, October 8, 1867 par. 31
“Parents and children on such occasions should feel as free as air from care, labors or perplexities. Parents should become children with their children, making it as happy as possible for them. Let the whole day be given to recreation. Exercise of the muscles in the open air, for those whose employment has been within doors and sedentary, will be beneficial to health. All who can, should feel it a duty resting upon them to pursue this course. Nothing will be lost, but much gained. They can return to their occupations with new life, and new courage to engage in their labor with new zeal. And such have gained much, for they are better prepared to resist disease.” Review and Herald, October 8, 1867 par. 32
On the 14th of April, a number of families here in the West decided to take time out for some recreation and be refreshed, so we set out on our trip to Coral Bay. For those who are unsure, Coral Bay is 1200km north of Perth. It would have been about 9-9:30 Sunday morning by the time we prayed and set off on our journey; although a few families had departed earlier that morning, we all caught up at some point. The trip was great and we thank God for His protection. We saw many goats, sheep and cows by the roadside, wandering all over the outback of prickly shrubs and small sand tornados. Although the western countryside is very dry with sharp characteristics, God made it with its own beauty. Psalms 8:7-9 “All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”
By lunchtime we were all pulling into Carnarvon, the half-way point between home and North Hampton, where we planned to stay the night. We stopped to stretch our legs and eat some much anticipated food before embarking on the second half of our journey for the day.
Finally we arrived at the half-way point to Coral Bay in North Hampton and settled down for the night. It was a quaint Farm Stay, but very well kept and provided us all with much needed rest. The next day we continued our journey at 6:00am bound for Coral Bay, and for some strange reason this half of the journey seemed to pass by much faster. Along our route we crossed over the Tropic of Capricorn and saw many massive termite mounds dotted all over the countryside. It was amazing! Mound-building termites are found not just here in Australia, but also in Africa and South America. Some mounds can have a diameter of 30 metres. It brings to mind what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”.
‘Coral Bay’, the sign finally appeared; by the grace of God we had all made it. We were staying in a caravan park just opposite the ocean, so of course once we arrived we had to set up our tents; but we all got in, helped each other and completed the job in record time. One of the tents, however, had been set up in the wrong place, so to save the bother of pulling the whole thing down and resetting it, we just removed the pegs and picked up the tent to move it, a rather interesting experience.
That evening we all went down to the ocean for a swim as it was very warm up there. The water was very refreshing, but it was a bit murky. We figured it was due to the tide and concluded it would be much nicer the next morning. After worship, that evening, as you would suppose, we all went to bed quite early, but the rest was much needed.
The next morning each family had their own worship and then we all had a nice big breakfast and headed down to the ocean where we took a ride in a glass-bottom boat. Sure enough when we saw the water that morning, it was gorgeous! The ocean was a clear aqua colour and shimmered against the morning sun.
The glass-bottom boat was definitely an experience. We could see all kinds of coral, and some shimmered blue in the light. There were beautifully coloured fish of all shapes and sizes swimming everywhere, and we even saw a turtle! “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:21.
The rest of that day was spent on the beach in the sun.We all did lots of snorkelling, an amazing experience, as the fish were not scared of you; they allowed us to dive down and swim with them, and they completely accepted us. We can only imagine how wonderful it will be in the ‘earth made new’ when all the animals will not be afraid of us. We snorkelled out to “Aires Rock” a number of times, an absolutely massive yellow coral 250 metres off shore. We first saw it while on the glass-bottom boat that morning. This coral was amazing; it became flat on top and had lots of smaller coral growing on the head of it. There were also lots of schools of fish that loved to swim all around this large coral.
By the time evening came we were all very tired and hungry, so we cleaned up and had a big meal. The rest of the evening was spent socialising before we all had our individual family worships and retired for the night.
The following day, we all stopped off at the bakery for breakfast. The weather was perfect. As you can imagine, we decided to spend the whole day out in nature as we would be heading back down to Perth the next day. The weather was perfect. The whole time we were there the sun was shining, and we never had a dull day. Again a number of us young people decided to go snorkelling and headed out for “Aires Rock”. Once again it was amazing; there were fish everywhere that swam around us as we passed by them. Although we didn’t manage to see a turtle, we were blessed to see an ever abundant supply of fish, as well as a couple of stingrays.
Late afternoon, a few of us young people headed up to a high point to watch the sunset, a beautiful way to end the day in the midst of God’s wonderful creation. That night, we were all very tired again, and looked forward to an early night. But alas that was not to be. As we all headed back to the campsite where Jacques Payet had been busy cooking food that day, everyone followed their noses to the tent where we all huddled and had dinner.
We all rose early the next day to get a good head start for the long trip home. After packing the tents and clearing the area, a long trail of cars finally but reluctantly left the quiet little town of Coral Bay. After sitting in the small confined spaces of the cars, we all stopped for a much-needed stretch at Carnarvon, where we filled the cars up with fruit, and our stomachs with food. After our break, we all headed back to the cars to continue the long journey home again. We had decided that we were going to travel through the night this time instead of stopping at North Hampton. So those who weren’t driving at the time decided it was best if they caught up on some sleep before it was their turn to drive.
We all thank God for our safe trip through the night as there were no accidents and no one fell asleep at the wheel, although there were constant stops along the side of the road as people were swapping drivers to give others the chance to sleep. The promise found in Psalms 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them,” was truly appreciated by all as we continued on our journey home.
I can say on behalf of everyone, that at 2:30am the following morning we were all quite happy to be pulling into our driveways and crawling into our beds after a full day of being on the road.
We would all like to thank God for the wonderful experience of being able to participate in the trip up to Coral Bay. Just being able to spend time with family and friends enjoying God’s creation was a great blessing, and we hope to be able to have another trip like it in the near future. Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
By Amariah and Charmaine Payet