There are three WW2 aircraft wrecks in the area and we had a look at all three. The most intact is a DC3 that crashed just short of the airstrip killing all onboard. The area around the airstrip is littered with the rusting remains of 44 gallon fuel drums, a legacy of WW2 fuel dumps.
From one wreck we took a track that was supposed to lead to a mangrove swamp that had good crabbing. We drove for a considerable length of time but didn’t find the mangrove swamp instead the track just got narrower and narrower until we thought it prudent to go no further. No one liked the idea of being stuck in a mangrove swamp.
There is a very pretty catholic church at Seisa, nothing fancy but set right on the waterfront surrounded by coconut palms. It reminded me of many similar churches I had seen around the south pacific. Quite nostalgic.
Just prior to sunset a chap had been standing in the water using a cast net to catch bait near our camp and a shark came in very close. He then decided to use the cast net from the shore. There was also a crocodile sighted close in. After dark Jenny and I took the spotlight and went crocodile spotting. From right in front of our camp we picked up the eyes of a croc close to shore. When we approached it moved to deeper water and submerged, it was about 3 metres.
That night we went to the Seisa Fishing Club to watch a display by the Injinoo Dancers. This is not a regular tourist performance but was put on as a fund raiser to help them get the money to travel overseas to a festival they have been invited to attend next year. It was a great evening.
The next day, Thursday, was Cape York day. The road north of Bamaga is very corrugated, the only really bad road of the trip so far. 12 kilometres north of Bamaga is “The Croc Tent”. This is set up during the tourist season and has the usual assortment of Chinese made souvenirs. Once again no books on the history or exploration of the area.
As usual the car park was crowded with an assortment of 4WD’s and tourist buses. Once at the tip you almost had to queue to take photos of yourselves at the signposted top of the Australian mainland.
Only a couple of hundred metres from the car park is an abandoned resort. This was once a very upmarket resort but apparently a dispute over land ownership saw the owners hand it over to indigenous ownership. It is now in ruins, a very sad sight. Once again it is very difficult to get factual information on its history.
We then visited Somerset on the eastern side of the tip. This is the area settled by the Jardine family in 1864. The Jardine’s were evacuated during WW2 and never returned, now there is little remaining of their presence. On the beach is a small neglected cemetery with the graves of pearl divers, Jardine family members and a couple of unidentified graves. It was then back to camp arriving about 1700.
That night one of two supply ships that run a regular weekly supply run from Cairns docked to discharge fuel, freezers and general supplies. It completed discharge and loading and left at 0230. Included in its loading were two badly damaged vehicles being sent to Cairns for repair.
Very windy last night. At this time of the year the SE trade winds blow consistently and strongly. Being on the western side of the peninsula we are mainly protected from the most severe winds however they must have gusted to 25 kilometres last night.