Hinchinbrook Channel/ Dunk Island
17 May 2012
May 16, 2012 Up at 5:30 am (dark) and away by 6am. Except for a couple of tugs--the anchor and chain came up easily. Again, the power of prayers at work! Hinchinbrook Channel runs between the mailland and Hinchinbrook Island, and is a sometimes narrow and shallow saltwater canal. As we approach the entrance to the channel, we pass a platform and jetty for off-loading sugar to large cargo vessels. The jetty is three miles long--the longest jetty in the world. Once we pass the platform we follow the entrance markers to the channel. We must be very careful here as there are sand banks and reefs to avoid. We are hindered by the out-going tide--but we are finally in the channel. With mangroves and heavily wooded hills on each side it feels exotic, like we are on Disneyland's Jungle River boat ride--remember that one? And with the prospect of a croc or saltwater snake jumping on board (not really)--it could be a dangerous ride. We follow the curves and bends of the channel until we finally exit at Cardwell--twenty-six miles later. We got a nice push by the outgoing tide and we were on our way to Dunk Island. We got used to the calm waters in the channel and now we were getting rolled by the waves as we approached the Family Islands--where Dunk is. We anchored in the lee of Dunk Island in 14 feet of water, behind a catamaran called Keris--Mike and Juanita came by in their dinghy to say hello. They are headed to Darwin to join the Indonesian Rally as we are. There is a nice resort on Dunk Island, but Mike told us that it has been closed since being damaged by a cyclone last year. We get a nice calm night's rest--with no growling! The photo is sunrise over Orpheus Island.