Blog 33. Cairns. 1/7/19.
Thu 4 Jul 2019 06:14
To start with, the marina is pretty windy for some reason and the berth allocated to us is a very narrow, single boat berth with a huge “boatel”, cross between a boat and a hotel which sticks out on the approach on the port side. On the starboard side is a very large, expensive motor yacht and the approach is a bit of a zigzag with no space for getting out of trouble once committed. We decided on reversing in and, in spite of going fast enough to have Bill’s heart rate accelerating rapidly, the wind caught the bow just at the wrong moment and the bow hit the dock on the starboard side while the stern hit the dock on the port side. Luckily for us, we didn’t hit the expensive motor boat, much to the owner’s relief as he had just had it repaired from just such an incident. Plus we were sufficiently far into the berth to be able to pull the stern round by a warp led to one of the main winches and thus straighten the boat and pull her back into the berth. Expecting nasty gouges on the topside and stern, we were delighted to discover that the dock had an excellent all round fender system and that the only real damage was a small area on the stern where the fender system had been walloped by a previous occupant. Skipper’s wife quite capable of doing an epoxy repair to this. Phew!
Since then, we have done a Sky tour to Kuranda, cable car up and train down.
View of the World Heritage listed Rainforest on the way up to Kuranda, from the cable car. This is the oldest tropical rainforest on earth and it is still being cut down when it suits the politicians.
The Barron Falls from the Cable Car
Ship’s Boy preparing to board the Kuranda Skyrail Train in Kuranda. This train follows the track built 127 years ago in response to the Gold Rush, as it was considered the only safe way of supplying the miners and taking the gold back to Cairns. The engine is painted with symbols important to the Aboriginals who occupied the rain forest, such as a snake, which was believed by them to have been the creator of the Barron River Gorge as it made its way through the forest.
Part of the Baron River Gorge, taken from the train.
The following day we set off on two excellent days bird watching with Jonathan Munro, visiting the Kuranda Rain Forest and then the Southern Tablelands and including a night at Chambers Rainforest Lodge at Lake Eacham. This enabled us to do a nocturnal wildlife spotlighting wildlife tour and see the cranes which overnight in the adjoining Crater Lakes National Park. We saw 3 different species of Possum including one very rare one on the nocturnal wildlife tour and wonderful cranes landing in the evening and taking off in the morning from the crater. Altogether, we saw some fabulous birds and animals got a small taste of what Australia has to offer the keen naturalist. Sadly, the politicians in Queensland are far from conservation minded and they are allowing destruction of large acres of rain forest and other rare habitats for agriculture and the wildlife is suffering the consequences.
The Victoria’s Rifle Bird at the lodge.
The Cranes taking off from the crater rim. Sadly it was a dull, drizzly morning and they were some way away, so not a good photograph. They walk up from the bottom of the crater to nearly the top so they can get enough height to clear the rim. An entertaining spectacle.
Eastern Yellow Robin, a delightful little bird with a very loud voice.
This blog has to end now or it will have too many Mbytes to post.
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