Friday 17 July 2015

Orpheus Island

Havannah Island to Orpheus Island

We would have liked to spend some more time around Palm Island but when we tried to make contact with the Palm Island Council when planning the trip, we did not get any response to our enquiries even though we approached them seeking permission to pass through the land recognising the traditional owners etc.

So rather than feel like the unwanted guests, we pushed on to Orpheus Island via Falcon Island.

We had a good tail wind for the paddle and the swell was being dampened by the islands once we got in the protection of Brisk Island.  These islands had permanent shelters on them and seemed to be frequented by the local community given they are a short distance from the main jetty on the Greater Palm Island.

Fantome Island is on the left with Orpheus behind it.

The paddle from Falcon Island up to Orpheus Island was spent chasing waves and avoiding being sucked into the gaps between the islands which compress the tidal flow.

Yanks Jetty has a couple of campsite options, a covered BBQ Area with Gas BBQ, Pit Toilet, Table and a flash jetty.  Its a pity they didn't capture water off the BBQ Area roof and it would have everything you need for a longer stay.

A boat load of tourists came in the morning we were leaving for a snorkel/dive, hence the flash facilities.

We had an afternoon snorkel after the tide had come in, but the visibility wasn't great. There were a number of fish around the pontoon so I am guessing the tourist operators may be feeding them.

Jono was keen to camp on the pontoon but with the change that came through the next day it would have been a rocky night out so I am glad we opted for the beach!

After the change...

This was a beautiful part of the world and I'm very glad we made the effort to paddle out this way. We spent some time exploring the area including the mangrove beach in the next bay hoping to find an elusive crocodile.  No luck on the crocodile, but we did see an Echnida making its way out of the mangroves!

Whilst we couldn't get any water from Yanks Jetty, I had spoken to JCU which has a research station just a few km's up the island and we had permission to drop through and pick up some water.

In the original trip plan we were going to go up to Pelorus for some spearing and camp over for a night before crossing to Sunken Reef Bay.  Given the water visibility was poor and the conditions were deteriorating, we decided to cross over to Hinchinbrook a day or so ahead of schedule.

Phone Reception: Yes
Fresh Water Available: No
Best Campsite:  North-West coral/sand bank
Toilet: Yes
Table: Yes
Green Ants: Yes
Sand Fly's: No
Mosquitoes: No
Reef: Yes

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