Indiana Jones in the Mangroves
10 February 2013 | Henry Lawrence Island
Michael and Jackie
The crocodile's eyes moved almost imperceptibly. It slowly slid down the bank, just a slight swish as it entered the water. Quick, a sharp blow from the kayak paddle and the croc reared and then turned angrily to wait. Well almost, except we didn't actually see a saltie as the salt water crocodiles are known here. However, we were prepared - we had a plan
We had bumped the short distance North round Havelock Island's small but busy wharf and headed for the next island North. Although a short distance it was into wind and quite bumpy.
Suddenly the sea flattened and we were tucked up behind a reef on the South end of Henry Lawrence Island. The colours of the sand and the reef, contrasting with the sandstone cliffs and arches and the overhanging with the trees of the forest were absolutely magnificent.
To the West of the anchorage there is a deep cove which we explored by kayak. Past rocks cloaked with small sea birds we turned into the cove disturbing some nesting kingfishers. The cove has cliffs to East and West which enclose mangroves and deep watery passages. The water runs fast through these mini rivulets, and you paddle deeper and deeper into the darkness of the island. Sudden splashes made us think crocodiles! However, they were probably waves splashing or birds fleeing from us. Our theory that a firm blow with a paddle might dissuade a hungry croc, seemed less credible. Maybe we would just have to wrestle with the croc, a la Indiana Jones. Anyway no crocs were sighted but the jungle river feeling was stupendous.