Monday, 17 November 2008

Eaten Alive in Hinchinbrook

My parents arrived at Cardwell on on a steaming hot day by train to find Thyme anchored about 2 miles offshore in the shallow bay! After two bumpy wet trips in the dinghy, crew and passengers were ready to set off on a fishing exploring adventure. We motored into the wind, south through the Hinchinbrook Channel to anchor our first night in Gayundah Creek where Simon and Dad were hoping for some hot Barra action. For those of you not familiar with Hinchinbrook, it's one of the most scenic calm waterways in Queensland, protected by the dramatic peaks of Hinchinbrook Island on the east and the rugged Cardwell ranges to the west. It's an area of wetlands and mangrove filled channels, rising up to lush tropical rainforest and mountains reaching 1,000 metres. The marine life include crocodiles, dugongs, turtles and of course is famous for it's great fishing including (hopefully) Barramundi.

With the weather forecast not looking the best we opted to remain in the Hinchinbrook Channel exploring the mangrove creeks, fishing and of course finding ways to try and avoid the overwhelming number of marchflies, sandflies and mosquitos that were intent on driving us mad! A wise move given dad hurt his back early into the adventure and had to be shipped around in a makeshift wheelchair. There was no shortage of entertainment though with foredeck cocktail parties, evening games (or should we say gritty and dirty battles boys versus girls... proud to say the girls won), daily fishing and crabbing, gourmet adventures with the fresh seafood, star gazing and a lot of catching up after so long!

If catching Barra was based on determination, then dad would have caught bucket loads, but unfortunately we were only graced with one at our table - which of course Simon will keep reminding us of. The one we got though was a good size and fed the four of us, cooked to a delicious Christine Manfield recipe. We kept a keen eye out for crocodiles, particularly given our only mode of transport was an inflatable dinghy, but we spotted none. We spent nearly a week on the boat, with no opportunity within the creeks for getting off and stretching our legs. The Haven provided our first walk and we were all grateful for the change of scenery and a quick dip in the freshwater creek in the company of mud skippers was a welcome relief from the heat.

All to soon, mum and dad were due to catch their train home and they endured one last wet and rough ride in the dinghy to Cardwell. It was sad to see them go, but we were grateful for the visit and had a great time! The line of the week was from dad, "We were itching to get here, and scratching to get home!" No doubt the bities have left a lasting impression... literally.


Amanda said...

They only eat you if you're sweet and tasty. Try being bitter and sour, you won't get bitten then.

svthyme said...

Hi there
Long time no talk. How are you going? Miss you.