|Marg goes fishing !|
|Glassy calm at Lloyd Bay|
The island is now home to Dave and if you look closely to the photo the yacht on the sand is visible. Dave has recovered this wrecked yacht and cut a hole in its hull for direct access from the beach. Unfortunately his companion dog was killed by a taipan around this time so we decided not to visit. He is a local identity. More can be read on restoration-island.blogspot.com.
The water was very rough around the island so we were thankful to anchor at Portland Roads at 1600- 3 hrs after anchor up. We took Ruby ashore for a quick walk and found a very pretty spot.
|water view of town|
|main street looking east|
|main street looking west|
We were becoming concerned about our diminishing supply of unleaded fuel (for the outboard and generator) and as the barge from Cairns wasn't due for another week we decided to hitch into the nearest settlement of Lockhart River with our fuel containers. We were lucky enough to get a lift to the servo and return with G who had lived in the area for over 30 years and was not only a warm hearted fella but a wealth of information also. He had been involved in fishing (mackerel), been employed in the gold exploration of the Cape in the 80's (extensive deposits but too difficult to mine) and he and his wife had also been involved in the Lockhart River Aboriginal Community. On our return to Portland he invited us for a cuppa at his beautiful house on the hill and showed us the many objects he had found beachcombing over the years - floats, bottles, Melanesian canoes- so many fabulous things!
The road to the community was amazing- scrub led to the thickest rainforest imaginable. The area is very popular with bird watchers, the red breasted noisy pitta being a favourite. A great day but Ruby was very pleased to see us on our return.
Portland Roads has a military history - a matter of weeks after the battle of the Coral Sea took place, American Army engineers and Australian military personnel arrived here to survey and construct the Iron Range Air Force Base. Navy vessels berthed and unloaded the stores and equipment needed on the existing jetty which had been built for coastal steamships to service the pre-war mining communities. Roads played a key role in keeping supplies up to the bomber groups that operated out of Iron Range delivering strikes on Japanese installations at Rabaul.
During the Vietnamese War, Australian and American military dropped experimental bombs near the Iron Range strip as the foliage is very similar to that encountered in the Vietnamese jungle. Apparently there is a clip on the web!
We all loved the town, Ruby had a great time. So, out of the blue is a café open for breakfast and lunch and dinner if you are lucky. Food is great although the racist mutterings of the waitress was a disappointing aspect. Grey nomads camping at Chili Beach are regulars at the café and some loudly discuss, with encouragement from the waitress, the "crazy angry abos" that "accost" them at their camps "yelling this is my land". Well, yes it is. I'd be mighty pissed too if my beautiful country was being overrun by people with an attitude that "mine is bigger and better". We have encountered a fair bit of racism amongst cruisers also who trample sacred sites and believe they have "a right" to access to any land they choose. Very disappointing.
The café is also the local information centre and P.O, the owner being very helpful.
|view from out of the blue|
|out of the blue|
We left on the 14th for Margaret Bay.