Cruise day 53 – Feb 26
This stop takes the cake as the shortest cruise stop we’ve ever experienced – four hours! To make it even shorter the ship was anchored, meaning almost an hour of that time was spent going back and forth to the island on the tenders. But on the plus side, we got in a good long walk around the small island as we checked it out.
The temperature was well into the 80’s with matching humidity numbers as we reached land, which brought on an immediate heavy sweat. There were a couple of short optional excursions available, but we decided to just stretch our legs and look around for a couple of hours.
The water was a gorgeous teal color, and apparently quite shallow since the ship had to anchor a long way from the dock. No swimming allowed, the crocodiles – nicknamed “salties” – are known to linger underwater here in far northern Queensland.
We followed a concrete walkway along the quiet main road that circled the island. Between stretches of ocean views, we passed mangrove trees, saw and/or heard several wild birds and visited a historic cemetery. But what really caught our eyes were the many huge and conspicuous cathedral termite mounds.
These mounds can grow as high as 22′ and last up to 80 years. They are part of the ecosystem and improve soil quality by bringing subsoil up to the surface, while the deep subterranean tunnels help aerate lower soil layers:
About halfway around the island’s perimeter, we took another road across to the dock and our tender. That’s all we had time for, and drenched in sweat we were ready for a cold beer and a shower (in that order).
I spent a while on deck and watched the process for removing the tenders from the water and securing them. As that was happening I noticed several large sea turtles surfacing periodically for air – very cool! I couldn’t get a picture of them because they disappeared almost right away, but it was fun watching their show from the 7th deck.