Thursday, September 5, 2013

Seisia and Thursday Island

We thought it would be a good idea, whilst we were up here to visit Thursday Island. Don found a welder in Seisia who was prepared to repair his diff cover whilst we all spent the day catching the ferry and spending time on the island. So we headed towards Seisia for a couple of nights.
This is the view from our campsite!
We were given a lovely space right on the beach with a small rotunda right beside us. Almost no one else camping there!
Here we are making use of the covered space!

Early the following morning, Don left his vehicle with the mechanic and we walked to the ferry.

Thursday Island is delightful. Clean, well set out and with beautiful, happy people. A very cosmopolitan community of intermarried peoples from the Torres Strait Islands, mainland Aboriginal, Papua, Australia, Chinese, Japanese, and Pacific Islanders. The Torres Strait people refer to themselves as Melonesians.

Unfortunately the photos don't capture the vibrancy and depth of ultra marine blues and torquoises of the sea!
A taxi had been pre-arranged, which met us at the ferry. Dirk the driver took us for a circumnavigation of the island, which included a visit to the bunker facility created to protect Australia originally from the Russians and later used in defence of Australia during WWII.
Much of the history of the Tip of Cape York and the Torres Strait revolves around the pearl and pearl shell industry. Divers would travel down to the sea bed to collect the shells, sometimes up to a depth of fifty fathoms. That is three hundred feet! Needless to say the death rate was extraordinary. Over 700 pearl divers lost their lives in the waters from nigrogen narcossis, the bends, getting caught under reef shelves, drowning or being eaten by sharks. The cemetery bears witness to this history. Of the 700 who died, 600 are buried in the Thursday Island cemetery.
This is why they collected the shells.
To manufacture buttons and buckles.
We spent a very happy and leisureful filled day ambling through the town.
On our walk, we visited the very beautiful cathedral dedicated to the 103 people who lost their lives in the Quetta disaster. The SS Quetta had left Cairns and was on its way back to London an Glasgow, when it struck an unidentified rock just east to the Tip. The vessel sank in just three minutes. I just can't imagine how the other travellers (200 or so) survived in these crocodile and shark infested waters! It must have been terrifying!
This is the inside of that cathedral.
We had heard that you could get lobster pie at the bakery. This semed like too good an opportunity to miss. Sadly the pies didn't live up to their reputation, containing very little lobster and a great deal of starch. Not much flavour at all! Also available was lobster salad at $9.00. The serves looked very generous. Perhaps these would have been a better choice!
Peter wanted to go to the Top pub in Australia ie because it is reported to be the most furtherest north pub; just to say that he had been there. So we all had a drink there and wished we had eaten their food instead of the bakery's.
Part of our taxi ride took us to the Crayfish wholesaler. The crayfish are kept live in tanks and sent freshly frozen to Cairns and beyond. On enquiry discovered that we could get lobster tails for $40 per kilo. So it was arranged that the owner would bring the said kilo to us in time to catch the ferry! Yum!!!
Guess what we had for dinner that night?
Heavy rain during the night encouraged the curlew to call and look what awaited me in the shower cubicle in the morning!

He/she was about five to six inches long, a beautiful irridescent green with yellow undersides.

As we were having breakfast we watched in horrifying fascination as a fourteen foot crocodile stalked two dogs playing and cavorting along the beach and in the water. They were totally unaware of his presence and were luckily too quick for the croc!


No comments:

Post a Comment