Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 22 May 2016 22:47
Middle Percy Ashore
The Percy Hilton, with swag bags at the read, nothing could have prepared us for this........ and we have never seen so many millions of ants all over the sand.
Swags complete with a beer for the lucky user. Apparently you can camp here, in certain areas within the Middle Percy Conservation Area, with permission from the homestead operators on channel 73. The mere mention of slitherers quickly stopped Bear dead in his thought tracks.
Arrrr, eight years too late to have met Andy who now has a plaque dedicated to him, next to his friend Geoff.
The book say: Middle Percy Island is the only inhabited island of the group and was originally charted by Flinders, after which he sought an exit from the barrier reefs with something of the same urgency displayed by Cook a few hundred miles further north and a scant thirty years earlier. The island is rugged and thickly vegetated with areas cleared for pasture and is surrounded by delightful sand-fringed bays.
In the shed on the beach in West Bay there are plaques of many famous cruising boats crowding the walls and rafters. An antique telephone was connected to the homestead in the mountains in the days when the White family owned the lease.
The Whites lived for forty two years on Percy, running sheep, until they moved in their twilight years to the security of the mainland. In 1963 the lease was purchased by an Englishman, Andrew Martin, who lived there until he too had to ‘retire’ to his homeland in his final years. He had welcomed all yachties and helped any he could. After much legal argy-bargy, his cousin, Cathryn finally inherited the lease as Andy wished, although the islands now are overseen by the Marine Parks, Middle Percy still has a guardian.
Andy inherited with the island’s lease the wonderful old thirty footer motor-sailor, Islander. This vessel reflected the character of the White family who built her. Her timbers were pit-sawn and assembled beside the homestead. When finished, she was then disassembled and carried piece by piece down the mountain to the boat harbour where she was reassembled and launched.
Voices from above welcome us.
A welcome sign.
The notice board gave us a little more information: Captain Flinders surveyed the Percy Isles in September 1802 and commented favourably on its natural assets. He mentioned evidence of the nomadic Aborigines who in 1830 killed two white botanists visiting Middle Percy. In 1860 a Gladstone man called Jimmy Joss settled here as the first permanent resident. He helped build Pine Islet Lighthouse in the 1880’s. In 1918 he was taken away, too old and ill to stay......supposedly leaving 1500 gold sovereigns buried beneath a special rock. Colonel Armitage obtained the first lease and settled with his family in 1887. He grew coffee and raised sheep. The lease changed hands several times from 1918, until the White family from Canada bought it in 1921. They built the present homestead and ran the island as a sheep station until 1964.
Andrew Martin bought the lease in that year and began catering to the boaties needs, He built the A-frame, the treehouse and planted the coconut palms on the beach. Lys and Jon Hickling joined Andy in 1989 and built the ‘Rondarval’ and raised their two sons Jacob and Justin. Cathryn now shares the lease with the Hicklings.
A list of the PIYC members.
The we stepped into something very unique, memorabilia everywhere.
One of the seating areas, OH and my favourite, Belle Epoque, Perrier Jouet. Someone had wonderful taste.
The sink area and the shop. Must bring some money tomorrow and buy some island honey and chutney to support the guardians.
Above the chutney was this lovely picture of Andy.
Also in the shop was a useful map.
Also in the shop a copy of an extract of Matthew Flinders journal.
Out the back of the A-frame, behind a BBQ fire pit were some Marin Park information boards.
Outside an amusing sign with a new take on what I always knew it as P--- Off Early Tomorrows Saturday.
More useful information.
After a quick look toward the toilet, we walked toward the Hut. Outside was a potential ‘one careful owner’ – sadly lacking foliage.
Talking of foliage the virulent beach creeper had a pretty little flower.
We bimbled the short distance to the Telephone Hut.
Inside so many more plaques from passing sailors and at the right end – a book swop.
ALL IN ALL SO UNIQUE
SO VERY DIFFERENT