30th April 2012
I have a new friend at the back door.
Patchy rain and sunshine 21*C
We moved up to a great little anchorage near South White Cliff on the western side of Fraser Island and are now anchored between Deep and Ceratodus Creek with the wreck of the barge “Ceratodus” just about knocking on our back door.
|Raining on the wreck|
To visiting yachties, the coastline between Ungowa and Yankee Jacks is known as South White Cliffs, a little further north is Kingfisher Bay. The cliffs are mostly made up of dark coffee rock with wind-blown white sand cascading over their edges in many places. The strong currents that hug the Fraser Is shoreline have made erosion faces where you can see that the trees being undermined. Over the years as there is a build up of these fallen trees, they form an entanglement of underwater features in various stages of decay thus undermining of the soft coffee rocks of the cliffs which causes large pieces to fall into the sea, enhancing the features of this coastline.For many years Ungowa was the jumping-off point for Fraser Island residents and tourists. As recently as the 1970s, before regular barge services, the motor vessel Philanderer made regular runs from Urangan to Ungowa. From there, tourists would be taken by 4WD buses to the island’s lakes and to the ocean beach. The jetty at Ungowa still stands but is now condemned. Ungowa was also an important forestry station while the timber industry was still in operation. Next to the jetty, a boatshed and ramp are other reminders of this era. Forestry residences and other buildings are now used by the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS).
|South White Cliffs|
Just south of the Ungowa jetty (where we are anchored), the hulk of the Ceratodus protrudes from the shoreline at the mouth of the Ceratodus creek. During the 1940s the Ceratodus carried fine white sand from Deep Creek and Bun Bun Creek to Maryborough where it was used as an excellent moulding sand in iron casting.
|Wreck of the Ceratodus|
The Ceratodus once was a steel Dredge, (406 tons, Lbd 145 x 30.1 x 12.1 ft) that was built at Paisley, Scotland in 1898.. She saw her final days as a sand bargein the Great Sandy Straits.Another hulk, the Palmer, can be seen a few hundred metres up Deep Creek. In its heyday, the Palmer was a coastal sugar steamer. A third wreck, that of the Swordfish – or what’s left of it – lies in deep water south of Buff Creek. This was one of the many logging vessels used during the forestry era.
Deep Creek may have lived up to its name a long time ago, but today it is a shallow mangrove-lined estuary that soon becomes a small freshwater creek. This was one of the island’s important points for shipping logs to the mainland, and just inside the mouth the timber ramps and pylons remain standing in good condition.
At the mouth of Buff Creek, a cutting through the coffee rock leads to a ramp that was used by vehicular barges before the development of the currently used facility at Woongoolbver Creek. A little further south near prominent navigational leads, a galvanized steel wharf used to serve as a loading point for mineral sands, trucked across the island from Dillingham’s operations at what is now Dilli Village. This wharf used to be a great land-based fishing spot, but it was removed after the mining stopped.
Close to the wreck of the Swordfish, a small waterfall provides a permanent source of excellent drinking water. Over the years the crews of many passing vessels have topped up their water reserves here.
I haven’t been ashore as yet; we are having days of constant shower and then there are the bities. I react badly to sandfly bites and with all this rain and the amount of rain QLD has had over the summer, the bities have tripled in numbers along the sandy banks of the Great Sandy Strait. All we can do is stay inside away from the rain and bities and play on the computer through the day and do some reading at night. I am finding it very hard not being able to much exercise; the cockpit is usually my domain at first light but now I find myself squashed on the bedroom cabin floor trying to do a few stretches. Trying times but I won’t let it beat me.