A Full Day

Today was a very full day. We started out at Hamilton Island and got Mark from Sunsail to look at the alternator. He got us going. It’s not the best solution, but it will work until we get somewhere bigger.

The cockatoos visited the boat with a little coaxing. Crackers were the bait. Then I noticed what they were doing to another boat and decided their presence wasn’t really welcome. They were actively shredding a line(rope) on the boat’s main sail. So, after snapping some pictures I got rid of them.

With our charging system charging again we left Hamilton Island. It was a charming place. We enjoyed our short visit. It was raining on and off all the way to Whitehaven Beach. I drove most of the way, even through the strong
current passage. Today the current wasn’t very strong, but at times it would grab the rudder and try to turn us sideways.

Susan and I switched normal roles and I drove while she set the anchor. It’s good experience to switch. We quickly got the dinghy, now named Bato, blown up and in the water with the outboard motor Betty Davis II mounted on the back. I had named the old outboard after the film star because it was temperamental to say the least, but once it got going great things happened.

Whitehaven Beach is a very long stretch of very white sand. It would be blinding on a sunny day. Our overcast day continued as we walked down the beach. We encountered two dying fireworms, Pied Oystercatchers, sea eagles, some litle sandpiper birds we’re still trying to indentify and the dens of several different kinds of crabs. The sandpiper like birds had chicks that looked like bugs walking on stilts. Our cockroaches in Hawaii are that big, but with shorter legs. The parents both did their best to lure us away, rushing us, running in front of us and playing at being injured. It was cute. One of them stayed with us for a long time luring us down the beach. This beach is
also known for it’s squeaking sand. At just the right spot is does squeak as you walk. The sand cant be too dry or too wet for this to happen. Much of the sand is packed down and wet and is like walking on cement.

After Whitehaven we motored over to Tongue Bay, a short 45 minute ride away. We just missed getting a mooring ball, so again we anchored with Susan operating the windless. We took the dinghy in and hiked to the top of the hill to see Hill Inlet. It’s the third most photographed thing in Australia. It’s beautiful and the camera doesn’t do it justice. Each day the tide comes into this inlet and completly re-arranges the sand. As the tide goes down streams
and pools form. The inlet is etherial and colors are amazing, even on a cloudy day.

Walking on the sands of Hill Inlet we encounter an enormous army of Soldier Crabs. They’re so cute; their color variations are light blue to bright blue to dark blue. They’re everywhere, thousands upon thousands. If you walk
long enough behind them they bury themselves in the sand spiralling in. They also walk forward, which isn’t usual for crabs; most walk sideways. One would think there would be thousand of birds around for this easy feast, but there are only a few. Beach Stone Curlews and Silver Gulls are there but just a few.

Back at the boat we put away the dinghy and had a simple dinner of pasta with sauce from the jar. I was too tired to even doctor it up.

Tomorrow we’re off for Bowen, a town on the mainland 57 miles away. We have some places picked out to stop, if we don’t quite make it that far.