Story and pictures copyright © 2000 Julia Hazel
Islands, Reefs and Rivers - Page 3
August - November 2000

Story and pictures copyright © 2000 Julia Hazel

The Flinders Group, just east of Princess Charlotte Bay, provided a nice change from the rivers (page 2) and plenty of interesting places to explore by dinghy and on foot while hoping the persistent winds would ease off and allow us another spell on the outer reefs.

These small, dry, windswept islands have beautiful eroded rock formations and mangrove and reefy shores. They are home to birds, fish, crocodiles, turtles and dugong, but have no human residents.

Rock art in overhanging semi-caves, burial sites and ceremonial bora grounds show that aboriginal people once spent a lot of time on the islands.

Traces of Early European visitors include a tidal benchmark engraved in rock by a survey expedition in 1899 and remains of a World War II coastal surveillance station.

At last we were able to visit the outer reef again when the winds relented, but not for long. With anchorage in deep water close to coral heads and only the minimal shelter of a tiny sand cay, it was not an uneasy resting place. All the same, it was wonderful to swim and snorkel and dive again after so long in croc country, and big flocks of boobies and sooty terns nesting on bare sand on the cay were a fantastic sight.

Next: Islands, Reefs and Rivers - Page 4

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