Cape Melville


Do you like our view?

I know, tough life we have here on the road, but it isn’t all sunsets and fishing. Ok, it’s mostly that, but hey, we (and I mean Tim) have put a lot of hard work into this easy going life. 😊

So, just to set the mood, the picture was taken of one of the amazing sunsets at Cape Melville. Great isn’t it? It is truly bitter sweet up here. I mean the days are great and somewhat on the warm side (usually around 35 degrees) but as much as we want to, there is no way we can go swimming. Cruel right? That beach, that sea, its simply stunning, but sadly, the crocs seem to like it too and really, who are we to argue with them. But I digress, back to the start.

Our last update, I touched on Cooktown briefly but it is lovely and I highly recommend going to check out the Botanic Gardens. They have a very interesting art gallery there that captures the drawings of Vera Scarth-Johnson – well worth a look.

We also went on a walk from the gardens to the beach. This was through the bush and thankfully only one snake crossed our path. It seemed to want to get out of there as much as we did. Glad we had that in common.

After Cooktown we headed for Cape Melville via the Starcke Track. It took us about 13/14 hours to travel 220kms. The track was rough plus towing the boat made it even slower. We ended up staying by the Jeannie River overnight and were very excited to reach Wakooka. It was only 50kms to go which we knew would take about 2.5 hours.

We got to the cape and set-up! It was awesome, it was full of threesomes, crocs oh and Tim almost got us killed. So I’ll start with the near death experience.

We set up camp and decided to take the boat out late afternoon to the reef. I didn’t realise that this reef was 14kms off shore, past the shipping channel and we were only in a 3.8m tinny. So, we set out and after 20mins, I asked ‘are we there yet’ and Tim showed me the tiny island we were aiming for. Sadly, the weather turned and we were stuck in a 2 metre swell. Not great when you were so far from shore, and the sun was fading fast. So the Captain decided it was best to head for shore and I prayed the entire trip.

We got hammered by the waves on the way back, as a result, the electrics were fried and after that, there was no more night fishing.

So we anchored, dried off and went to bed.

The next morning, our neighbours called in to let us know that a 4.5m croc was camped by our boat the night before. Great. Just what we needed. We didn’t get to see any crocs on this trip so far, but we knew it was there.

We finally got a great day on the water and we went to another reef only 4kms off shore. It was beautiful! Tim caught a lot of fish. I caught a lot of reef and lost many sinkers. I much prefer trawling as I caught some great trevally the first night and it was delicious.

I loved being on the reef as we were surrounded by turtles. There were so many and so very funny. They would come up gasping for air and seemed intrigued by us. Unless they surfaced too close to the boat and they would then shoot off back under the water. They reminded me of Crush, the turtle from Finding Nemo.

On the way back, something bobbing in the water caught our eyes. Initally we thought something may have fallen off a ship or something, so we went to investigate only to find some turtles, and you wouldn’t believe it. We stumbled upon our first threesome. It felt intrusive and we tried to get out of there as quickly as the turtles tried to. Oh well, I guess the phrase ‘what happens in the cape, stays in the cape’ is across all species. 😃

In total, we had had five or six nights at Cape Melville and it was amazing! We had solar panels out trying to keep the batteries charged and we went to the fresh water creek a couple of times to top up our supply. It really was beautiful but it was time to move on so we headed back out to Lakefield.