Pemmican Picnic

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 6 Jul 2019 06:13

Position: 24 03.16 S  151 33.43 E
At anchor Seven Mile Creek
Wind: SE;  F5,  strong breeze
Sea: slight   Swell: nil
Weather: overcast, showers, mild
Day’s run: 8 nm


Having pretty much exhausted the attractions of Turkey Beach, this morning we decided to head back to Seven Mile Creek which provides much better shelter in the fresh south-easterly winds than Turkey  Beach. We weighed anchor just before high water at 1030 and once out into the broad deep channel of Rodds Harbour, shut down the motor and set the jib to run for six miles down the channel before the breeze that yesterday we had to motor directly into. As we approached Seven Mile Creek the final mile required us to alter course into the wind at which point we once again furled the headsail and flashed up the BRM, coming to anchor in pretty much the same position we had left a little over twenty four hours ago.

Once Sylph had settled, we set off ashore for a short hike and a picnic lunch. Most of the shoreline in the region consists of mangroves which can make it difficult for getting ashore but where we had anchored there was a bit of spit of a red rock nearby where the mangrove was not so dense. We dragged the dinghy ashore here and went for our short hike. The landscape consisted of sparse bushland, mostly small eucalypts and grasses, on low gentle hills.  Numerous cow paddies dotted our walk but not a cow could be seen nor heard.  Kate pointed out one distinctive Moreton Bay Fig tree standing alone in the otherwise dry countryside. It was interesting to stand under the large tree as it created its own microclimate, cool and damp with the soil rich and brown within the circle of shade provided by its bright green leaves. Other parasitic plants and vines circled the ancient tree, using its branches to take them into the light above its canopy, and giving the sense of fortress guarding the tree’s perimeter.

Leaving the Figtree behind, we climbed the nearest hill and found some rock seats to eat our lunch, inspired by Kate’s recent reading of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons – pemmican sandwiches and a thermos of tea. After lunch we made our way back to the dinghy stopping to examine some metal detritus left under one of the mangrove trees.  We identified the remains of an old motorcycle, two single beds, and some iron pots, curious as to how they came to be here. We guessed that perhaps someone had tried to set up a semi-permanent camp here. It is definitely not somewhere I would want to live, even for a short while.

By the time we made it back to the dinghy, the tide had receded leaving it high and dry. I donned my sea boots that I had brought with me, cleared a path back into the water of the worst of the oyster clad rocks, and dragged the dinghy through soft mud back into the water.  Kate followed me, wading into the murky shallows, feet clad in leather ankle (not sea) boots. Once back on board we waved the cloud of flies that had followed us off the boat and picked all the grass seeds out of our shoes and socks.

From here the plan is to have a quiet night at anchor and tomorrow … well we haven’t gotten as far as thinking about that yet.

All is well.