• St Helena and Green Islands

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    Date: Tuesday 25 April, 2017

    Today promised light winds and clear skies with a high tide around 0900 falling to a low low. There was one car park left at Wynnum Creek. Five other vehicles had at least one set of racks yet the plastic boats mulling around on the water were too fat a fit.

    Having pulled up tired from the 30Km paddle two days ago, I was all for something on the slack side. A light breeze angling from the SW was making St Helena most attractive – any light puff would do. Six kayaks were pulled up on the beach at the jetty. Turned out they were skis according to Mike who popped in through the mangroves in search of beach curlews he had seen before. After a friendly greeting Mike continued on with bird watching. The long standing osprey nest in the radio mast had been blown away by the tail of Cyclone Debbie. Today a sole white bellied sea eagle circled and landed on a guy wire.

    We went for a walk along the kangaroo tracks behind the swamp to discover some abandoned vehicles resting in clouds of white alyssum while being quietly festooned with a camou of creeper. We were being abandoned by the tide so continued to dawdle at a pace that would not leave us stranded. We found Mike in the NE lagoon getting ready to do the same. An occasional bull shark and turtle took fright at the drag line of kayaks. Mike identified the remaining birds for us as we slipped along the inside the coral banks. He is a font of knowledge with regards to birds and paddling. Sounds like the Percy Islands are idyllic, shame they are such a long way offshore.

    Mike continued on to Manly when we pulled in south of the Green Island spit for a bite of lunch. A couple with a 5 month old daughter in arms were attempting to wheel a double kayak in the coral strewn mud. Mark helped carry the kayak as the tide was falling quickly and the baby was starting to squawk. While having lunch with the sandflies we watched the South Passage disgorge barefoot people by the ducky load. Next we saw the father leap overboard from the double kayak. Maybe a crying baby can have that effect. By the time the second ducky load were picking their way ashore, the father had climbed back in and we had had enough of the locals.

    We plodded past two treacherously tippy 470 yachts skippered by a nubile crew barked at by a male zooming around in a ducky dropping fluro markers in an ever evolving course. Like Mike we landed in time to avoid the worst of the mud. The double kayak was nowhere to be seen, although all must have been well as it was later spotted in a shopping carpark along the waterfront.

    A charming day out in familiar places which continue to reveal new finds along the way.