How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

I Sprained My Ankle on South Molle Island

Thursday 2rd August 2012
I Sprained My Ankle on South Molle Island
Cool nights, warm days, fresh breezes
20’15.524S – 148’50.354E
Looking down into Bauer Bay from the hill trek
MrJ and I sailed across the Whitsunday Passage to drop the pick in Bauer Bay on the north side of South Molle Island. Under stronger winds this anchorage can be very uncomfortable with lumpy swell coming in from the passage and strong bullets of wind whipping around the two large peaks, Spion Kop and The Horn, on the NE point. This day we were lucky to not be getting these conditions.

South Molle Island has a rich history:
It is said that Aborigines, the Ngrao people have inhabited the Whitsunday area for some 8000 years. The Ngrao Are supposed to have called South Molle Island Whyrriba which some sources say meant 'stone axe'. The Ngrao would paddle their canoes across the waterways to make their weapons and tools at a natural rock quarry on the island.
In 1770 Lieutenant James Cook, Captain Cook, was the first known European explorer through the Whitsunday Passage.
Whitsunday Passage
On May 14, 1815 Lieutenant Charles Jeffreys RN in HM Colonial Brig “Kangaroo” anchored in the Whitsunday area and gave the name “Port Molle” to the waters between the north-western shores of today’s Long Island and the mainland. Jeffreys and the “Kangaroo” were on their way from Port Jackson to Ceylon with a part of the 73rd Regiment, which had finished their tour of duty in New South Wales. Jeffreys gave the name “Molle” after the then Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales, Colonel George James Molle (1773 - 1823). Molle came to New South Wales in February 1814 as the Commanding Officer of the 46th Regiment and upon his arrival was he appointed Lieutenant Governor under Lachlan Macquarie. Port Molle remained the only “Molle” name on official charts until 1863 when Admiralty charts showed, in addition to Port Molle, the “Molle Islands” but with no individual names for the component Islands. It was not until 1881, when HMS Alert conducted a detailed survey of Port Molle, that the Islands of the Group received their individual names of West Molle, North Molle, Mid Molle, Molle, Planton and Denman.
The old jetty
In the early 1920’s, this group of islands was purchased by Henry G. Lamond, then comprising South Molle, North Molle, West Molle, Planton and Denman, Mid Molle and Goat Island.
Mr Lamond, who had spent his entire life in Far West Queensland, took up occupancy on South Molle on the 19 April 1927 with his family - wife, Eileen and children Hal, Amy and Bill. The Lamond family lived on South Molle till 1937. During this time, Mr Lamond earned a living as an author of worldwide reputation at the same time supplementing the family income from the wool clip of cross bred sheep that he ran on the islands. The pen of Henry G Lamond, through his articles published all over the world in the early 1930s, did much to make the Whitsunday Passage known worldwide and undoubtedly was a major contributing factor to the start of the tourist industry in this part of Queensland. In those early days the mail was delivered to South Molle once a fortnight by a Mr Otto Altman in a 27-foot boat called “Senix”. Mr Altman owned a banana plantation on Long Island

The club hous has been here since the resort was built
During the earlier stage of island life there was no wireless, no gramophones and it was only during the latter period on the island that a portable wind-up HMV gramophone was acquired. That instrument with some dozen records of the music of the time scarcely stopped during the leisure hours of the family. There was no electricity on the island and the major household light was a Colman lamp supplemented with 2 or 3 kerosene lanterns. There was no form of refrigeration and perishables were kept cool in a charcoal cooler which comprised a packing case insulated on all sides with charcoal which was at all times kept moist. This proved primitive but most effective. Groceries were ordered from Queensland Pastoral Supplies in Brisbane and delivered to the island once a month by John Burke Coastal Ships. Vegetables and tropical fruit were in abundance and came exclusively from the island garden expertly and fondly planted and cared for by Mrs Lamond.
In the early 1930s he sold West Molle to Major Paddy Lee Murray and North Molle to a Mr Johnson from Western Queensland. On the 19 April 1937, he sold the balance of the Molle Group to the Bauer Family who later established South Molle as a tourist resort.
 One of the first smaller tourist ships, the ‘Woy Woy’ chartered by a Mr Pollock, cruised the passage in the early 30s. About the same time, owners of smaller vessels were starting to take an interest in the tourist potential of the area and Easter and Christmas Holidays attracted a number of vessels of varying sizes from such areas as Bowen and Mackay.

Hidden in the rainforest
After dropping anchor I made an early lunch before going ashore. With cameras and water bottle in our packs and good walking shoes on MrJ and I walked along the long jetty which lead to the resort and the track behind that the beginning of all the walks on South Molle Island. South Molle Island is all National Parks except for the rundown resort area that is now used as a stop-off stagging point or overnight stay for tourist backpackers on the way out to the reef.

South Molle Island has some of the prettiest walks in the entire Whitsunday Island Group including walks to Oyster Bay: 2.5 km from the resort - a rocky mangrove-lined beach characterised by driftwood left by the prevailing winds and tides, Mt Jeffreys: 3.5 km from the resort - this is the highest point on the island and the lookout offers 360° views, Spion Kop: 3 km from the resort, Lamond Hill: 3 km from the resort, Pine Bay and Sandy Bay:4.7 km from the resort - interesting area where coastal she oaks line the beach, the Hidden Valley and Balancing Rock: 1 km from the resort. In total there are 16 km of walks in the National Park and all the tracks are well maintained.
MrJ and I last did one of these walks, the hike to Mt Jeffreys named after the intrepid explorer and ships’ captain Lieutenant Charles Jeffreys RN, many years ago while on holiday in the resort, that’s when it was up and running to true form.
On the way up to Spion Kop (on the right) we pass the Aboriginal's natural rock quarry (left)

This time MrJ and I chose to do the Spion Kop hike on the NE point.  Spion Kop is actually a Dutch/Afrikaans word meaning “Spying Head” or “Lookout”, named by the Bauer family, who had a South African background. The Spion Kop track leads through eucalypt forest, rainforest, open grasslands with a windswept hillside of Tree ferns (Blackboys). This trek took us 2 ½ hours from start to finish with more than several photographic stops along the way and one major stop on the way back near the end of the track.
The lookout on Spion Kop
Nancy went down, went down in a crumbling heap, went down like in a slow motion movie when I slipped on a very small lose rock that was hidden under some dry leaves and sprained my right ankle. Now there are millions of these lose rock on the path but it only takes one and to place your foot down wrong and down you go; like the old saying about stepping off the curb and twisting your ankle. How many times do you do something that you become complacent? Even though my eyes were looking my mind was elsewhere, elsewhere by meaning I was thinking about my photography and not fully on where I was treading. Number one thought was for my camera equipment; number one action was to do nothing but stay still on the ground in extreme pain. Number two was to call out to MrJ as he was up ahead while I do the usual and lag behind. MrJ came quickly to the rescue but before I would let him lift me up I had him check the camera gear and all was ok, thank goodness. As far as me, well, I scored a bad ankle sprain, maybe even a torn tendon or ligament because of all the swelling, but no bruising or evidence of internal bleeding so nothing broken, a few scratches and gravel rash on the left knee and a wake-up call to be more alert in future. Nothing an ice pack, a bandage and a couple of days rest won’t cure.
Got my photography chllenge for the day done too - bonus!
And I can’t wait to see what MrJ’s account of the accident will be! ;o))))))

1 comment:

  1. It's funny how you worry about your camera more than yourself after falling. But getting sprained is no laughing matter. You wouldn't know the extent of the damage until later when it's been checked by an expert. How are you now? I really hope that your ankle has fully healed and that you are back doing fun outdoor adventures.
    Sienna @ Fort Lauderdale Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine