Horn and Thursday Islands
Saturday 15th July 2017
The anchorage has been very calm and quiet and we have spent the last few days resting, doing boat jobs, stretching our legs ashore on Horn Island and Thursday Island, and watching the seabirds and movements of the two crocodiles who bask on the reef behind the boat.
Horn Island has a sleepy little village near the harbour with a couple of hotels and small supermarkets, and a museum. Its main service is its airstrip which serves Thursday Island in conjunction with the ferry that crosses the Ellis Channel several times daily.
Horn Island harbour from the jetty where we tied the dinghy. Looking back out to the boats in the anchorage from the jetty.
Signage on Horn Island, welcoming... ...and warning!
The supermarket at the end of the jetty road. The commercial jetty at low tide, from the road.
In the museum, the Torres Strait symbol. And an explanation of the Torres Strait Islander flag.
We crossed on the ferry to Thursday Island twice – once to visit the Customs house and do our clearance formalities, and a second time to complete the formalities and revisit the coffee shop where they sell the “famous” crayfish pies. We had been there on our first visit for coffee and cake, but when we went back at lunchtime to try out their pies, they had sold out. We had more success on the second visit, and Steve enjoyed his crayfish pie, which he declared very tasty but a bit short on crayfish!
At the ferry port on Thursday Island, a colourful mosaic “Welcome” sign. Metal turtles on the foreshore.
The main street. The Post Office is also a supermarket and general store.
Coffee, cake and crayfish pie at a very popular coffee shop. The view out over the channel from the coffee shop.
The two Torres Strait Islands that we visited were very different from mainland Australia, but the people were every bit as friendly and eager to help. The Border Authorities were happy to bend the rules slightly by allowing us to check out several days before we intended leaving. For the record, and for any cruisers thinking of visiting Australia, we have found the Border Authorities to be pleasant, friendly people who carried out their duties in a considerate, respectful and professional manner.
The weather is set fair to leave for Indonesia tomorrow afternoon, and it will be with mixed feelings that we say “Goodbye” to Australia. We have enjoyed every minute of our time here (well, except maybe the Coff’s Harbour storm!) and have been lucky enough to see far more of this enormous country than many Aussies have. But South East Asia beckons, and it is time to head west once again to explore places and cultures new to us both. Exciting!