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.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Hinchinbrook Channel - Tuesday 4th Sept 2012

Hinchinbrook Channel at first light
Tuesday 4th Sept 2012
No early start to this day, we were only going 20n/m into the Hinchinbrook Passage. The winds were light from the ESE so MrJ and I set the genoa and sailed out of Orpheus Is, across to the Port of Lucinda.
ship-loader & very long jetty
coming into Port Lucinda
The Port of Lucinda is located at the southern entrance to Hinchinbrook Channel near the town of Ingham and is dedicated to the export of raw sugar from the Ingham sugar-growing district. The Port comprises of on-shore sugar handling and storage facilities, and a single trestle jetty and conveyor running out to an off-shore berth and ship loader. The jetty is one of the longest of its type in the world, extending for 5.6 kilometres and dipping 1.2 metres over its length as it follows the curvature of the earth. Sugar takes 22 minutes to travel along the conveyor from the on-shore storage sheds to the ship loader.
narrow channel
hello people............

We followed the leads past the very long jetty till we come to the Port wharf where the entry channel narrows and we needed to keep close to the wharf passing markers Port to STB and continue to follow the entrance channel till it opens up into the main Hinchinbrook Channel and then we roll out the genoa.

The scenery was and still is breathtaking: Mother Nature puts on one of her best shows, with sun shafts through misty cloud hitting the still waters and layers of green through to blue/grey mountains of Hinchinbrook Island reaching up into the clouds. The Aboriginals (the Bandjin people- Bandjin means saltwater people) named the channel Bolan Milbirmi and the island Muddamuddanaymy.
a helicopter flying above
Hinchinbrook Island

Hinchinbrook Island is one of the world's most diversely beautiful wilderness areas. Australia's largest island National Park, Hinchinbrook is approximately 37.4km long and 10km wide. This 39.3 sq. km island lies off the Cardwell coast, halfway between Cairns and Townsville in North Queensland Australia. The island has a rich aboriginal history and was first seen by Europeans in 1770 when Captain Cook sailed past.
Mt Bowen from the channel
 It has been separated from the mainland by the deep, narrow mangrove fringed Hinchinbrook Channel for approximately 100,000 years and has remained in relatively uninhabited, pristine condition. It is this unique pristine condition that has caused the Australian Government to select this island as an area for special protection. Only small areas of the island have been opened for visitor access for very limited numbers.Hinchinbrook Island’s rugged skyline is dominated by the the1121m high jagged battlements of Mt. Bowen; I have been told that the Aboriginals called this mountain “the cloud maker”. It is the largest in the chain of granite crags forming the backbone of the island's southern half. This towers over a rainforest wilderness, mangrove-lined shores and spectacular golden sandy ocean beaches. To the north-west a range of lesser peaks of older volcanic rocks, similar in chemistry but finer grained than the granite, forms an undulating skyline descending to the sandy beach of Hecate Point, 4 km across the channel from Cardwell. The spectacular north face of Mt Bowen which is better seen from the seaward side drops 1121 m in cliffs and forested tree slopes almost to sea level. From here a narrow, 8 km long strip of sand, stretches north to connect with Capes Sandwich and Richards.
looking north at Haycock Island & Leafe Peak
 MrJ and I drop anchor off Haycock Island (18’28.171S – 146’12.990E); a small island in the middle of the channel less than 8n/m from Lucinda.
looking south at Haycock Island - see, we do have our anchor ball up
Another boat comes in and anchors too but by early afternoon there is a lot of swell action coming up the channel; and around Haycock Island, enough to rock our socks off so we decide to move anchorage.
Sunday Creek
We move AR upstream 2n/m to inside the mouth of the Sunday Creek (18’27.364S – 146’12.083E) where the waters are as calm as and the quietness of the wilderness can really be appreciated.
That night we did hear a large splash across the way, it could have been a croc or just a fish jumping, I was not going out the back to find out!
Sunset in Sunday Creek
 A famous Traditional Story from the Hinchinbrook region
Dhui Dhui – story courtesy of Russell Butler of the Bandjin People. The Bandjin people were from Hinchinbrook Island and Lucinda Point on the adjoining mainland of North Queensland, as well as Gould and Garden Islands and part of Dunk Island.
Dhui Dhui & the two fishing boys
Where you look due south toward Hinchinbrook (Muddamuddanaymy; pronounced Mudda-mud-ah-nah-me) from Dunk Island (Coonangalbah; pronounced Koo-nang-gol-bar), two boys paddled out in a canoe and dropped their stone anchor. The elders had told them not to fish on that sand spit because there was a big shovelnose ray (Dhui Dhui; pronounced Doo-ee Doo-ee) that lived there. The boys fished anyway. The ray bit their line and started to tow them around in the canoe but the boys wouldn't let go of the line. It towed them around the ocean for a while before going down the Hinchinbrook channel. They disappeared into the horizon. By then it was getting dark and everyone was worried about the boys. As they were looking south with the night sky rising, the Southern Cross appeared, which was Dhui Dhui; the shovelnose ray, and the two pointers; the two warriors in their canoe.
The Captive Lives Story
Many nineteenth century circuses included human curiosities, the most famous of these being the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth.
In the 1880s and 1890s Barnum’s agent, R. A. Cunningham, persuaded two groups of Aboriginal people to participate in these shows in the USA and Europe where they were portrayed as the Australian Cannibals and Boomerang Throwers. The first group came from nearby Palm and Hinchinbrook Islands and the second from the Mungalla Station workforce. Most of the two groups died in the cold conditions they experienced in the northern hemisphere. The first to die was known as Tambo and his body was mummified and sold to a dime museum in Ohio. One hundred years later the Australian archaeologist Roslyn Poignant would begin to compile this amazing story. In 1993 Tambo’s body was found in a disused American funeral parlour in Ohio and was returned to Palm Island to be reburied exactly 110 years after he died.
Roslyn Poignant curated a travelling exhibition for the National Library of Australia that exposes this story and was seen by over 300,000 people.

Another Dreamtime Story

How the Sun Was Made
Legend has it that there was once a time before the sun existed when every creature on this earth would get around and go about their chores only by the light of the moon and stars.
The Kookaburra bird, known as Goo Goo Gaa Gaa at this dark time because of the sound of his loud song, lived in Australia by the Aboriginal tribes. There he would scavenge for his living by taking the leftovers he would find around the campfires. Kookaburra was bad - he would often creep up behind people when they were resting or sleeping and awake them with his strange cry, Goo Goo Gaa Gaa. The tribe's people were often very mad at Kookaburra because of this. They would chase him from the camp and throw sticks and stones at him, but he would always return. The Emu bird also lived near the campsite. He was a magical bird with strange green feathers, a long neck and even longer legs. He could run very fast on those legs. Emu lived alongside the aboriginal camp but he caused no trouble. One day after Kookaburra had caused a lot of trouble with his song, he decided that he would steal Emu's egg - just to upset the quiet of the campsite a little more. After Kookaburra had escaped with Emu's egg, he attempted to fly away with it. But he did not realize just how heavy it would be and the flapping of his wings woke Emu and the tribe's people. They all took chase. Kookaburra was in flight, but Emu was much too fast for him. Seeing that Emu was catching up to him, Kookaburra decided it would be safer to drop the egg and make an escape. The egg fell from the sky. Kookaburra did not realize that the egg coming from the magical Emu bird not only broke when it hit the ground but burst into flames igniting a nearby bush. The light from the fire lit up the surrounding countryside. All the tribe's people and animals marveled at the beauty of their surrounds that they had never seen in full light before. No one had realized just how green the trees were and how pretty the flowers seemed with their rainbow of colors. Wirnum-Wirnum, the tribe's wise man, decided that it would be a good idea to rekindle the fire each day so the tribe and the animals could see their beautiful land. Each day when they awoke, the people would gather wood for the fire. Then the wise man would use his magic to send the fire up into the sky. Every day the tribe's people and animals could enjoy the beauty of their land. It also made it easier to hunt and find their food. This system worked well for a while but soon it became difficult to keep up with it. Not everyone would wake at the same time to gather wood; some would stay asleep and miss the beauty of the land when the fire was in the sky. One day all the tribe's people were sitting around the wise man. They were trying to figure out a way that they could all get up together to gather wood and build the fire. It was very quiet as they were all deep in thought. Little did anyone know that Kookaburra bird was sneaking up to the gathering! He crept up behind the tribe's people and broke the silence with his ear piercing song, making everyone jump and scream. This gave the wise man an idea. He called over to the Kookaburra who was reluctant to come as he was too used to being chased and bombarded with sticks and stones. Once the wise man had convinced Kookaburra that it was safe to come over, he explained a deal that they would offer him. It was suggested that Kookaburra could come into the camp once a day, sound his song and awaken everyone. This way, they could collect the wood, build the fire and everyone would get to see the beauty of the land. In return, no one would chase Kookaburra or throw sticks and stones at him. The deal was made and from that day on Kookaburra awoke everyone with his song, wood was gathered, fires were built and the wise man would send the fire into the sky with his magic. Now if you look at the sun as it is coming up in the morning it glows red. It is said that this is the tribe's people getting the fire going. As the day goes on, the sun burns bright - so bright you cannot even look at it. It is said that this is when the fire is burning at its best. When the sun goes down at night and you can look at it again, it is said that is when the fire is dying down and darkness comes over the land. As the clouds cover over the remaining red of the sun, it is said that the tribe's people are keeping the embers hot ready for rekindling the next day when Kookaburra sounds his song. Goo Goo Gaa Gaa.
Leafe Peak
MrJ and I leave the Hinchinbrook Channel for Dunk Island the next morning.


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