Day 27, Year 3: A Day at East Hope Island Date: Thursday, June 5, 2008 Weather: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Location: Hope Isles, Queensland, Australia We have had an absolutely wonderful time playing on this little island. It is so tiny that you can walk around it in ten minutes, but you can wander about on the reef at low tide for hours looking at all the little creatures or sit for hours just watching the bird and butterfly show. We divided our day between work and play. I did laundry this morning and Mark defrosted the freezer-just in time. He defrosted it since he had to rearrange everything anyway to make room for the fish we caught yesterday. This evening, he and Gerry struck a deal with the “resident” prawn (shrimp) boat here and traded eight beers and a Cadbury chocolate bar for five kilos of the most beautiful and the biggest shrimp I have ever seen. The shrimp or prawns were already frozen, so we divided them between Scot Free and Windbird and will keep them frozen until we get to Lizard Island. We hope to enjoy them there with some of the other cruisers that we are meeting as we make our way. On the beach late today we met two Australian couples that are headed to Darwin for the Sail Indonesia Rally. And another boat that overheard our conversations with Scot Free on the VHF radio called to say hello and to tell us that they are also headed to Darwin for the Rally. However, all of these boats are stopping at Lizard Island for about a week before traveling on, as are we, so we will have a chance to get to know them there. But first we have to get safely into Cooktown and enjoy that bit of Australia. As the Australians we met today said, Cooktown is one place in Australia that has a bit of history. They say that most of Australia does not. I might disagree with that, but it is true that when Captain Cook brought his damaged Endeavor into the Endeavor River at wat is now Cooktown, he was the first European to arrive there. Other Europeans followed some fifty years later, but it wasn’t until gold was discovered in the 1870’s that the aboriginal Gangaarr was renamed Cooktown. Unfortunately the aboriginals were virtually exterminated from the area during the gold rush years. Cooktown became the wealthiest town in Australia and it became Australia’s second busiest port. We received an email this evening from Runae and Idunne on Blue Marlin saying that they safely arrived in Cooktown today and telling us that it seems safe enough to enter and that there is room to anchor. So that is our goal for tomorrow.
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