Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fraser Island: the search for interesting wild life

By Jen: We crossed the Wide Bay Bay without event. Even in the low swell it was unnerving to motor between the breaking waves. It all looked so wrong as we turned Sea Trek III to run parallel to the surf. (We were well informed and knew what to expect).

We planned to travel slowly over the next few days keeping Fraser Island on our starboard side. This channel of water, the Great Sandy Straits twists and winds for many many miles before opening up into Hervey Bay. Garrys Anchorage offered us our first chance to explore and seek out wild life.

Happy campers.

So with high hopes and strong walking shoes we landed the dinghy on a soft sandy beach and headed into the world famous Fraser Island National Park: the worlds largest sand island. We should have taken the greeting sign as an omen: it was not at all what we expected.

A "Croc Warning"!!!! ( not your bad taste in shoes Bruce).

We decided to charge forward and definitely remain vigilant at the waters edge for floating " logs". Also on our mind was the reported male dingo sighting. We were uncertain about any of other wild life, but the National Park signage clearly stated that visitors were not to befriend any animals. We were hopeful of a thrill or two and perhaps some more poorly focused pictures for the blog.

Intriguing but not thrilling.

Unidentified plant branch.

We had only just started along the bush road track when we were engulfed in tiny biting sand flies. These stinging distractions quickly drove us mad. They bit into our arms, legs, hands, ears, neck and scarcely haired areas (Glenn's head). We made a hasty retreat to the shore line while glancing at a goana racing up a tree trunk. A nice walk on the sandy shore line would have to do. Nothing exciting here , but I saw some interesting crab hole patterns in the sand. I was certain that it spelt out a message.

DNA or a word?

Feeling a little deflated by the over-abundance of 'unexpected' wild life we decided to return to the mother ship. The experience had been a little ordinary and intensely itchy. But by now the water had retreated: the shoreline had move away. We needed get the dinghy floating again. Soft "good holding sand" should be no problem, that's why we anchored here. And so we began to drag and push the American styled keeled dinghy. (The firm keel being a tremendous feature for the inflatable dinghy). But the sand had turned to mud, and it wouldn't drag. I was sucked in up to my thighs! I could barely stay upright from laughing. And just how would I get our clothes clean again? A fit of giggles over took me. I wished that I had lost some weight so that I didn't sink so much. I felt myself slipping into the voids below. Help!

Roll up your shorts, young man.

Glenn took over the entire procedure, using strong shoulders to break the muddy suction. Our brand-new-just-met friends Chris and Maggie from Allons-Y looked on in bemusement. I refused their kind offer of help on behalf of Glenn who was too busy to answer.

After much straining...

In the end Glenn was covered in mud and then couldn't get back into the dinghy. The mud had a suction grip on his legs. He had nothing solid under foot to push against. It took one huge lunge with his head forward and low to provide enough momentum to propel himself back in. He hit the solid flat floor. (This is another outstanding feature of the Caribe dinghy; thanks Wazza and Carol).

Action Man


30 knots against tide, some weren't so lucky.

Footnote by Glenn:

Is Gary's anchorage the worlds most dangerous anchorage? Quicksand, flesh eating crocodiles, goannas bigger than Komodo Dragons, baby stealing dingos and sand flies bigger than March flies! Yes I think so! It did come highly recommended to me by a certain Vice Commodore of a certain Coastal Cruising Club who shall remain nameless. Bruce are you trying to get rid of me?


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