Middle Percy Island
Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Thu 5 Jun 2014 06:25
21:39.11s 150:14.61e Middle Percy Island
From Keppel Bay we headed north and ducked into a very protected anchorage in a huge bay – Port Clinton. Its not a port in the real sense of the word, as it is totally uninhabited area that is used for military operations. Luckily there were no exercises under way, so it was open to cruisers for anchoring – but no walking on the beaches. We then also spent a night in a pretty little bay called Pearl Bay, deploying our stern anchor quite successfully to stop the roll. In both bays Mike managed to hook (and release) a Hammerhead shark!
We then headed out, north east to the Percy group of islands. We had been told about a good and interesting anchorage at the Middle Percy. Although the island is now part of a national park, it is still leased out to a couple who live there and continue the long tradition of welcoming cruisers. On the beach is an A-frame structure (AKA Percy Island Yacht Club) , with a few basic facilities (BBQ, Chairs and tables & water) that also houses the most extraordinary collection of boat memorabilia. Since as early as the 1950’s boats have been leaving signs, bits of driftwood, flags, buoys and more – all with their boat names. The estimate is that there are up to 10 000 pieces in all!
The A-frame is a great meeting place at sunset to “chew the fat” with others in the anchorage. We met up with Jo & John on Kirra Kirra, as well as with John, Phil, Lee and Stumpy on Solitaire, and also managed to get taken out by the “no see ‘ems” Both Mike and I are covered in bites from head to toe, and the itch just does not stop!
At the A-Frame
One of the days, we took a long trek, up the hill, across the island to the home of John & Cate – it was about 4kms to the house, and quite tiring - but the route is peppered with little signs and props to encourage you to continue. Once we found the house surrounded by a lot of goats – we were welcomed with an ice cold lime and honey drink. Cate and John enthusiastically shared the history of the island, and what a struggle it is to keep things going. They are about 60kms from the mainland, which takes them 8hours by boat. They keep their boat in a mangrove inlet, which can only be accessed at high tide. Quite a life they lead up there – but they do have a phone/ internet signal up there. Of course we forgot to bring our phone, but hiked up another hill the next day to grab a few bars to check on emails. As we have not subscribed to our Satellite phone service this year, the last 4 days were the most disconnected we have been from the world since we headed out in 2008! Luckily there was a bit of a short-cut on the way down – the last bit through the mangroves, where I think we picked up a few more bites!
Mike managed to squeeze in a bit of fishing (surprize!) but we still have not cleaned the waterline and the green boat beard continues to grow. Looks like we are in for another patch of bad weather – so we are heading to Mackay. We have loved visiting this island, and hope to be back on the way south ...this time with lots of bug spray!
Amazing sunset over the anchorage What we left behind – should read 15000nm!