Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
August 2020
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Bathurst Harbour Day 5A

Temporary favourable winds and a sad story

With the final days of our trip upon us it was time to start heading eastward again so that we would be back at Melaleuca on the right day to catch our flight. So, we farewelled our campsite at Bramble Cove (a lovely spot), and headed out, originally intending to go around the outside of one of the inner islands, but changing plans when the winds were a bit stronger than expected.


Fortunately, once we’d started heading more south and easterly the winds were in our favour, and before long we were inside Turnbull Island and making our way along Bathurst Channel.


We nearly managed a perfect rafting-up manoeuvre (it was still quite breezy and someone didn’t quite nail coming alongside), but once in position we were able to indulge in the ritual sharing of the lolly jar (we took turns stocking it each night with nuts and other goodies from a central stash). The breeze behind us and some rudder adjustments kept us on course up the channel. bIMG_6722croppedfull

Opposite Balmoral Hill and Beach, seen below and which we’d visited two days before, is Parker Bay, a small shallow bay in the shadow (figuratively) of Mt McKenzie.bIMG_6738


A 10-15 minute walk inland takes you to the grave of Critchley Parker Jnr, who died here in rather tragic circumstances in World War 2. He had been seeking possible places for a Jewish homeland, and had set out, against most of the advice that he’d received, on a 10-day journey to the north. Three days into the trip he had to turn back because of flooded uncrossable creeks, and although he climbed Mt McKenzie to light a signal fire it could not be seen in the mist, and then his matches got wet and ruined. When he didn’t arrive on time, search parties were arranged, but found no trace of him … and yet he managed to survive some weeks not far from where he’d first been dropped off, keeping his diary until the end. He was found about three months later.



Around the corner to the north from Parker Bay is the vast expanse of Joe Page Bay. Unfortunately its valley tended to channel the wind down towards us, meaning that we had to battle some head and cross-winds as we made our way up into the area. bIMG_6752

We pushed our way from sheltered spot to sheltered spot, passing little bays and headlands along the way.


Just opposite Hehir Island we found a nice beach for a lunch stop, and set up the shelter, because despite the fact that we mostly had sun the odd little shower threatened from time to time.


It was a lovely little bay, shallow and with the now-familiar quartzite gravel-sand, and I spent a little time exploring/wandering and taking photos while lunch was being prepared.


There were views across the bay to the eastern peaks, with Mount Rugby making its presence felt again.


The sun shone through the melaleuca/paperbark trees and onto the moss below. bIMG_4280

There were also a few native plums around (the fruit is edible but not especially nice apparently).


There were lots of decaying banksia cones scattered in the waters of the bay and these looked weirdly wonderful filtering through the rippling tannin water.


After lunch we hit the water again.

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