To Mourilyan Harbour
To Mourilyan Harbour
It was smashing to come out this morning to find the sun shining. Time to go, WT were going to stay for a couple of days, we have two more stops and then once in Cairns the job list begins in earnest. First, is to get a new aerial and wire up the mast for the VHF radio, we now know our radio messages are breaking up as well as what we hear at a short distance. Mmmm.
Hearing our anchor going up, Gin and Michael appeared to wave us off – no idea I was taking pictures of this smashing couple. I called over to get them to pose.........
.............that went well........never work with children, animals or sailors........
We set off at ten past nine and could actually see a little colour on the mainland.
At half past twelve we were approaching the North Barnard Islands.
The biggest of the Barnards is Kent – where I spent from 1965-1990. Some cheeky little rocks nearby.
Kent is one of the five North Barnard Islands. They are different because they are high continental islands which rise from the sea floor. The waters around here were inhabited by the Mamu people. The lighthouse was built in 1897.
Kent Island is protected by the Department of Environment and Resource Management because migratory birds rest there.
Now for our strangest entrance yet, from here we could see no harbour at all.
As we got closer we could see the low point between the hills but Mourilyan Harbour itself, just on my chartplotter. It has become mine since Bear has taken to his IPad Navionics.
A-Ha there it is.
Over to our left a sad sight. We wondered if the skipper had turned left too soon as the headland to the right looks very similar to the one we are heading for.
Now we can see the chum wharf, hard to believe big girls go in here. This remarkable bowl-shape harbour is the mouth of the Moresby River which flows out between the thickly vegetated headlands. Originally there was a fifteen foot deep entrance, just one hundred and fifty feet wide, the bottom being solid rock. Over the years by drilling, blasting and removing the entrance has been opened to double the original dimensions and can handle chums to twelve thousand tons which load sugar. The harbour is occupied by bulk sugar handling and the only houses are staff dwellings.
For the first time in Australian waters my chartplotter let me down and showed us heading overland........... Clearly, looking out of the window this wasn’t the case. Creepy Boy’s IPad was spot on. Growwwwwwwwllll.
Markers each side to help us in.
Beyond the green, the wharf with two working girls at the ready.
We could now see round the corner and waved to a couple of chaps enjoying fishing in the sunshine. Yellow buoys mark the turning circle for the chums.
Further in we could see the two rows of moorings piles, we would pass through the middle and anchor just off the end to the right.
Looking back at this incredible entrance and to the sugar loader.
The working girls - Giru on the left and Woona on the right.
Steamship Kuranda moored at the wharf in 1914.
As we moved between the piles we could see a girl tucked up in the mangroves, a little closer we could see another boat too.
Friends parked along the left.
A one careful owner and mate, we parked nearby and found a chap working hard on this little lady, hopefully she will ship shape and Bristol fashion very soon.
Bear had asked for a metre below us and I found just that. After I pulled Beez back on the anchor I called forward 0.8, Oh that’s fine we’re at low tide right now. Mmmm, within a few minutes we had 0.1 below us as we swung over a shallow bit. Soon enough it began to get deeper. After our twenty three mile journey I had a good look at my chartplotter, oops, maybe something like this happened to the girl we saw laying down on the rocks earlier. Later, deep joy after a five three win at backgammon but I thought I was in for a trouncing at Mexican train until Bear held hands with his nemesis in the final round (fours to zeros) when he scored more than two hundred in the fours and threes. Huh and thrice Huh I say and with that I need a drink.
A gentle sunset in this rather pretty spot. Time for supper and an early night - a longer journey tomorrow.
ALL IN ALL SO GOOD TO FEEL THE HOT SUN
A NICE CALM MOTORSAIL