It was an easy run to the Jardine River Ferry. This ferry is operated by the local indigenous land owners and is quite a money spinner for them. It takes about 1 minute to cross the the river but you are charged $95 per vehicle. Compare this to the $300 we paid for the 11 hour crossing of Bass Strait! I don’t think there will be a bridge built over this river for some time yet. There are about 30,000 vehicles crossing the river per season. By the way it is certainly not advisable to swim the river as a person was taken by a croc here several years ago. It was then only about 30 kilometres to Bamaga which is the northern most settlement with any facilities in the Cape. Not much at Bamaga, a small supermarket, tavern, post office, general store, bakery, service station and the RACQ agent who was doing a roaring trade in towing and repairing vehicles. The more seriously damaged vehicles are shipped to Cairns for repair.
All of the settlements on the Cape have mobile coverage so at Bamaga I powered up the computer to look at the emails. Bloody hell! I had 35 emails from Skype about purchases and changes to currencies that I had not made. Someone had hacked into my Skype account. Because I hadn’t had internet coverage for about 5 days I hadn’t known this was going on. Skype of course has denied any liability for this and stated it is my responsibility. Whilst I don’t think my credit card was compromised I cancelled it anyway to be safe. Because of the continual change in currencies I don’t know the exact amount involved but think it will be about $200. So if you are going to use Skype do not use the auto recharge facility as if I didn’t have this in place the damage would have been minimal. I have requested the bank to reverse these credit card transactions as they are fraudulent so I will wait and see what happens.
From Bamaga we went about 6 kilometres to Seisa where we have set up camp. This is a great campground with plenty of shade and right on the beach. Both Bamaga and Seisa are settlements of Torres Strait Islanders who have moved to the mainland.
The Seisa jetty is renowned for the fish caught from it so Tuesday afternoon we went fishing. You’ve guessed it, no fish. Still we are hopeful and we might yet have a meal of fish we have caught from the Seisa jetty.
We really enjoy learning about the local history of places we visit and usually we manage to obtain a book or two on the area. Whilst Cape York has a rich and fascinating history of exploration and settlement we have been unable find and any books or information on this subject locally, a great disappointment.
Story from the local newspaper: Three locals in a tinnie fishing for barramundi. One has a good strike and reels in. The next thing they know is that a very angry 35 kilo feral cat with a barra lure in its mouth is on the bow. All three fishermen retreat to the stern. Cat manages to dislodge the lure and after making menacing advances on the three fisherman leaps overboard and swims to shore.