I wasn’t hungover from Phenergen this morning and we managed to toast some muffins in the hovel/camp kitchen for breakfast before walking in to the harbour area to get on The Eagle. The competition between cruise operators doesn’t seem to be friendly but we were on the “local boat run by local people” ie a family stretching back 5 generations, always boatmen. It was great and the weather perfect.
Macquarie Harbour is enormous, twice the size of Sydney Harbour and is protected by “Hell’s Gates”. As we came closer to them it seemed astonishing anything of any size could sail through but the early settlers managed it without modern navigation aids. Apparently the sea conditions were borderline today for passenger comfort but we were fine and spent time out at the front of the boat until it started turning to come back into the harbour when the rolling of the boat and the winds became hard to take. After coming back through Hell’s Gates we continued towards the mouth of the Gordon River passing many fish farms on the way. We stopped at Sarah Island and had an hour to walk around it. I didn’t want to listen to the guides because I was sure they’d be full of stories of executions, floggings and harsh treatments so we went off away from the crowd. Self guided walk brochure we picked up was helpful and there were information boards at strategic points.
Sarah Island became one of the biggest boat building yards in Australia. The best story was about 10 convicts who were building the boat, “The Frederik” and when the boat was finished they stole it and sailed to Chile. “The Frederik” was the last boat built there!
Another stop was for a Rainforest Walk where the Geriatric Geezer once again espoused his knowledge and added Leatherwood and Celery Top Pine to his repertoire . He did have a nasty shock when we first got on the boat, the person sitting next to me was a genuine Old Geezer from Bundaberg and as he fiddled and fumbled extracting the tray table from the armrest Alex and I both saw our future. It’s a worry!
We had a delicious buffet lunch which included Tasmanian smoked salmon and camembert.
I thought I’d get up to date with the blog today but my plans were scuppered when we checked the times the Library was open and found it was only a few hours on Tues, Wed & Thurs.
Because we couldn’t get into the Library we took the opportunity to go for a walk to see the Howarth Falls, the rainforest plants seem very similar to those in Queensland but it’s very quiet in these cooler ones with no birds shrieking. Back to camp for a light tea and an ice-cream, after the buffet lunch today that’s all we needed.