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Published: October 30th 2013
On the inlet
Luna Ray in background
Today is wednesday, so it's been about a week since my last entry and we have been generally relaxing on the river.
One day we took a dinghy ride along the smaller creeks late one afternoon. There's a fake paddle boat called the "Lady Douglas" that passes us once or twice a day carrying tourists - a trip they advertise as crocodile spotting. Its been a running joke that they probably never see one as we haven't. However as we slowly made our way down the ever narrowing mangrove line creek Naomi let out a gasp as she spotted one on the bank. I turned to see it scramble over the mangrove roots heading straight towards us and disappear under the water! Under Naomi's panicked instructions I gunned the engine and we did a rapid about turn, though I'm sure the croc was probably just as startled as us. I thought it didn't look that big, maybe a couple of metres long but Naomi reckons closer to three.
We have had lots of trips to town which takes about 20 minutes and found the best place to leave the dinghy is right near the mouth of the inlet next
Alex at the playground
the beach where we leave the dinghy is behind
to the big wooden shed on a pier. If we are away for a while we can chain it to a tree root. We always bring some rubbish to dump and a jerry can to carry some water back. Sunday we went to the markets again.
The spare time has given me time to bone up on some new skills such as whipping and splicing ropes. So have got our new 100 m of 20mm nylon rope ready to use as anchor rode.
Since being on the hardstand our wind speed measurer has not been working so sent Naomi up the mast to collect it- was an extra sight for the tourists on Lady Douglas that happened to be passing. Found the little cups that spin had a lot of resistance - the bearing case had some light rust over it so sprayed it with WD40 and soaked the bearings in the stuff over night and they turned alot better. Straightened the vane part as it had developed a mild bend, and sent Naomi was back up the mast to return it and it works!
To break the monotony, on Monday we hired a car
and drove out to Mossman Gorge. There you can walk the 2km to the gorge or pay for the $6 bus - we took the latter option but I did wonder why they didn't just make the car park next to the gorge. This was the first of three Daintree walks this day - considered the oldest rainforest on the planet. Made our way up the river stopping at view points, passed the swimming hole, across the bridge and stopped at the last viewpoint. I went on alone to do the 2.4 km circuit which had many plaques describing the different uses of the different tree species, and met up with Naomi and Alex back at the swimming hole. I threw myself in for a cool refreshing swim at this beautiful spot with its crystal clear water, a small waterfall nearby, many perch meandering around all surrounded by the thick green forest.
Back in the Corolla we headed north, picked up an assortment of greasy food from a service station, and took the car ferry across the Daintree river whilst Alex had his midday nap. Drove up to Cape Tribulation stopping at two more walks that even Naomi liked
doing as they we boardwalks - mostly through mangrove forests. Also stopped at a viewpoint which had great views of the islands we were so familiar with and Port Douglas, before crossing back over the Daintree. We came back to where we left the dinghy and nearby there were two fire-trucks and an ambulance - apparently a large motorcruiser had caught fire. We rode the dinghy back down the inlet in the dark and got back to Luna Ray at 7:15 pm. A good day of sightseeing - always makes us feel like we are on holiday.
We returned the car yesterday morning after a quick drive up Flagstaff Hill for the viewpoint - the scene is now spoilt by a large part build construction right in front. Later that day we heard our engine part had arrived , so returned to collect it from the marina office and made another stop at Coles.
Today spent much of the morning putting the new fresh water pump on. The paper gasket wasn't a perfect fit but used it anyway. Took the opportunity to drain the old coolant which have some dirty dregs. Couldn't reach the wingnut for
the drain without removing the oil filter so replaced that too as it was about time. With all pipes connected and bolts all done up tight, I poured in coolant and my heart sank as the dripping started again. Fortunately it was coming from the hose and I was able to stop it by tightening the clamp on it.
Ran the engine a few times and it all stayed dry, adjusted the belt and mopped up all the leaked fluid off the engine bay floor. We were considering heading back to the Low Isles but for the first time here the wind was blowing from the northeast, which would make it both a slow passage and probably an uncomfortable anchorage.
Light winds predicted tomorrow so should head out, a good excuse to run the engine and charge the batteries. And then make our way to Cook Town over the weekend.
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