Monday, September 19, 2011

Channeling my inner Tom Hanks (Castaway version)

Rising with the sun, solo sea kayaking with dolphins, eating oysters straight from the rocks.

Does life get any better?

For a castaway on an island, I don't think it can.

Bruce, a pilot for 1770 Castaways, flew us from the mainland to Middle Island. The small Cessna aircraft took off from a private airfield in 1770 and made a beach landing just near our campsite.

The opportunity for beach landings is rare worldwide and Bruce is one of few people actually certified to teach people to land planes on the beach.

He left us on Middle Island with our gear and dinner meal ingredients. We were then free to go on bush walks, lie on the beach or talk to volleyballs named Wilson.

I opted to sea kayak and pick oysters from the rocks near the beach. The oyster task was much, much more difficult than I expected.

We navigated the rocks in search of oysters that looked "easy to open" and I managed to open two with my Coast multi-tool.

Cracking open oysters was pretty tricky but it was definitely worth the salty treat inside!

We were distracted briefly when a fellow camper picked up a sea cucumber. These part eel, part worm-looking creatures loved to hang out in shallow pools of water near the rocks.

At first, they just look like smooth black rocks in the sand because they move so slow. But when disturbed, the shrink away; if picked up, they spray liquid as a defensive mechanism.

As the sun went down, we built a fire and cooked dinner.

The next morning I woke up early to go sea kayaking again, this time I saw about 10 dolphins moving past the island.

I also saw a big whale further out than the dolphins.

Kayaking was a fun workout and a great way to enjoy Middle Island.

After cleaning up camp, we waited for Bruce to come back and pick us up. The flight back to 1770 was beautiful with views of ships waiting to go into Gladstone's port, sailing boats floating across the ocean and Middle Island's lighthouse poking out of the bush.

Back in 1770, we spent one more night at the hostel and then caught the overnight bus to Airlie Beach the following day.

Best memories: kayaking near the dolphins and the breathtaking views from Bruce's plane.

Only downside to the trip: forgetting to reapply sunscreen...ouch!

View from the plane after taking off from 1770.



Sent from my iPod

3 comments:

  1. Now I really wish I had gone with you, Anna! So stunningly beautiful over there! Bet that seafood is yummy, too.

    (You should create a picture calendar of your stay there when you get back to the USA.)

    Stay well.

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