Morris Island was where we aimed to after leaving the Flinders. The ocean wasn’t really calm, but all in all it was a comfortable ride of around 55nm.
Whilst trolling we caught a shark, which was happily released, but we were unlucky for the rest of the day.
Morris is the southern most island in the Cole Island Group & National Park and about 100 km South East of Cape Melville. It is a vegetated sand cay located 15 km off the coast, well established with Coconut Palms, Sisal plants and it provides a habitat for a number of roosting birds and turtles. For us it was again a place where we could relax in clear water and enjoy a sandy beach, without to remember always that we are seriously in the middle of Country.
At around 4am the next morning we woke up due to a heavy rolling boat – not a nice thing, we couldn’t even put our coffees on the table…. wind had changed in the middle of the night to a northerly….As soon as the sun was rising we left and kept going
Our next anchorage was at Portland Roads, roughly 260nm north of Cooktown. More or less directly after getting started we hooked on a beautiful Spanish Mackerel !
And to top the day the sea calmed down, the sun was shining and there was no wind at all !
Later on we were a resting place for a cute little bloke, who stayed with us for more than an hour, singing and sometimes having a circle through our open Flybridge. :
For us Portland Roads provided a quiet anchorage on our way, but we found it very unspectacular and didn’t went ashore, which would have been very difficult due to the surrounding fringing reef. We can definitely confirm that it’s part of Croc Country, we didn’t need binoculars to see them
The sunset had new presents for us, in an uncountable number : several hundreds of crickets, a terrible pest which we had to deal with for the next several days.
They love to hide in dark corners and are varying in size between 1 cm to 5 cm.Tthey come and jump on you….you all know how much we loved this ! We kept everything closed and worked for hours to throw them into the water. We tried to hose them off with the saltwater pump, but the “funny” thing was they all swam back to Never Land and jumped or flew back to her, so we finally had to make sure they didn’t come back. For the next 3 days we still found lots of them, even in the smallest hole you can imagine…
In one corner of the bay is the so called “Blue Trail” and Ingo had the right idea where to search for it. The Blue Trail is a path, decorated with hundreds of blue items from passing cruisers, which leads from the northern part of Cape Grenville to the southern part, crossing the smallish headlands of the Cape.
Where the path starts the beach is “interrupted” by a large and wide mud bank, where we had to find a way through (mud + mangroves + sand = perfect croc habitat in our eyes). Our plan was to go all the way to the other side of the headland, but we turned around after maybe half an hour. It was me being too scared, as we passed small ponds, muddy areas, high & thick bushes…
Coming back to the dinghy we decided it is safe enough to have a short cooling down in the shallow and very clear water…fishes and rays were joining us, so that was not bad
WE went all across the other end of Margret Bay, which was a distance of 3.5nm…. a very enjoyable dinghy ride with plenty of smaller and bigger sea creatures saying hello.
We lay down in the water and waited for the guitar shark babies to come exploring us
The next stop was planned at the Escape River, 65 nm to go. As usual an early start. Another lucky day for our fishing and announcing a nice was the Tuna Mackerel which we were able to hook… There is a pearl farm and some house to be seen when you enter the river, so we tried to contact them by radio. But no people were seen and nobody answered our calls. Going quite a bit into the river we found a very nice anchorage, away from all the pearl strings and markers. As we saw lots of mud, mangroves and small creeks we brought our crab pot out. Found a nice place and drove back, passing several crocs having a sunbath on the muddy banks. Yep, we knew they are everywhere, but after having seen them so close, also gliding direct next to our anchorage, we thought that our crab pot will be a nice play for them…. the next morning, when checking the pot , it was completely gone, we couldn’t even find the float.
Happy playing, dear crocs – hope you enjoyed it !