|the barge passes us going through the Bowen Strait|
11’09.518S – 132’08.524E
|leaving in the moonlight|
AR is on the move, it is still dark and I should be still asleep...................................!!!
|early morning on the water|
|entering Bowen Strait|
|0720 – the fish that got away – it was a Giant Queenfish - true|
The Bowen Strait is a narrow passage between Crocker Island and the Cobourg Peninsula on the mainland. The Cobourg Peninsula forms the Gurig National Park. The Bowen Strait stretches for approximately 24n/m but the passage AR took was to hug Crocker Island through the narrowest section and then to follow the mainland round, passing on our port side the headlands of High and Danger Point to bring us past Sandy Island #2 and Sandy Island #1 , which are aboriginal sacred sites, off Port Bremer. After passing Sandy Island #1 we rounded Smith Point.
1359h – Monument Smith Point - Smith Point is at the eastern entrance to Port Essington and has an eight metre monument standing on the point. This Beacon was originally constructed in December 1845 by Royal Marines from the Victoria Settlement. It was built to aid vessels navigating around the Off-lying reefs as they approached Port Essington. It was re-constructed by the crew of R.M.A.S. ARDENT on the 20th December 1978.
Just before passing Black Point there is a conspicuous radio tower. We motor south of this to Black Point keeping well clear of this point as there is a reef extending out.
This is where the ranger’s station is located; all boats intending to visit in Port Essington should report to the ranger’s station
Black Point Anchorage
11’09.518S – 132’08.524E
We anchor west of the old jetty toward the sandy beach but well out from the shore reef. Directly above us are the buildings of the ranger station. We put up AR’s covers had a quick wash-down and then dinghied ashore to report into the ranger’s station.
The best place to leave the dinghy was near the boat ramp on the other side of the old jetty which has seen better days. From the boat ramp MrJ and I walked the short walk up a well kept red dirt road till we came to the ranger’s office and cultural centre.
The young ranger, Andy who was on duty over the weekend, greeted us with a broad smile and a firm handshake. Andy was very enthusiastic with his talk about the park, its features and beautiful place to visit but also instructing us on some of the rules and regulations to be followed as well as giving us written information about some of the places. He also suggested to us a natural wetland’s walk (which we did the next morning) close by to the ranger’s station and was not shy in promoting a stop off at the resort in Coral Bay before we leave. We thanked him very much. Before heading back to the dinghy MrJ and I took a stroll through the very informative cultural centre that told stories and displayed pictures and items of the past Aboriginal and European history of Port Essington and the National Park.
|the night's sky|