30 September – Jardine River

After some great days at Wroonga Point gazing out at the Torres Strait it was time to hit the road – not before a dark cloud came over the top of us and rained on us while we were packing up. Rain! Yes, rain. After months of not seeing a cloud in the dry season skies – we got dumped on.  We decided to stay one more night on this side of the Jardine River ferry before we crossed back to begin the journey south.

Bird- Jardine River Mouth

We started on the track out to Ussher Point but it was so rough, overgrown and damaged that we made 10kms – very slowly – before we decided it was just too bad and just wasn’t worth the effort and bone-rattling to keep going along the rest of the 60+km track (and we’ve rattled our bones along some rough tracks – this one broke our spirit!). We drove back and then out to the west to Mutee Head which was much easier to access – there was even a road crew grading the track so it was smooth sailing. The radar installation here is interesting partly because it’s the only one of its type from WWII still standing today but also because of the size of the operation with a large team of people using the new radar technology to identify enemy planes.

We headed out along a sandy track to the mouth of the Jardine River where we hoped to find a campsite. We got side-tracked onto a very boggy sand track which we eventually pushed on through to make it to the river and found a great campsite up high overlooking the expansive Jardine River estuary.

Jardine River Mouth

We walked out to the beach overlooking the river mouth and found some recent turtle nesting activity.

We through a few lures out across the river channel closest to our camp and eventually Josh hooked on to a good size mackerel which hit the lure on the surface with a spectacular splash and then dragged off some line from the reel like a freight train. Slowly it was reeled in amongst great excitement. Moments after it touched the sand the line went slack, the fish flip-flopped back into the water and in a flash it was gone – so was yet another lure.

The rest of the family braced themselves for Josh’s standard three days of mourning where he doesn’t talk to anyone and mopes around sullenly. We found a better track out which avoided the dreaded seep sand and we were on our way.



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