SATURDAY 1 AUGUST VRILYA POINT CAMP
This was a hot, humid and sunny day, especially in our exposed position.
We walked around and explored the beach around the far side of the Point. There were rocky areas that had once had oysters, but they were now all gone. We found a hole dug in the sand to be a fresh water soak. A man from the larger camp group – big family – came and introduced himself and was friendly. He said it was ok to get water from the soak – he learned about it from the aborigines and pumped from it each day. He had a little portable pump. His family group had been there for a couple of weeks, as had the guy, with dog, further across in the other grove of she oaks. They had a boat. He seemed quite cultured – maybe a bit of an alternative lifestyle type?
John tried fishing from the beach, for a while, and tried to learn how to use his cast net. It provided some entertainment! But no bait – nor fish.
After lunch, we drove north right along the beach to the river mouth and inlet there. It is about 12kms. It was a big, deep, inlet with mangroves on the far side. John marked it for fishing and was sorry we had not come up here to camp. There were seemingly good camps in the she-oak grove on the point there, but I am not sure how “croccy” this area might be. The sand of the beach in front of the possible camp area goes straight into what looks like deep water. I feel a bit strange, here, for some reason – instinct sending alert signals!
On the way to the inlet, we’d looked at the rusting ship hulk on the beach. It was once a light ship – gas light ship CLS2 Carpentaria, to be precise. A number of these were built in the early part of this century, designed to be moored where needed, but not manned. This one was placed at the Merkara Shoal, to the west of Thursday Island, but storms or a cyclone in the early 1980’s set it drifting, and it washed up here.
The other camper back at our camp area told us that there was a croc around the corner from Vrilya Point – it had been seen on the beach to the south. That is not a very comfortable thought. We shall build the campfire up tonight and hope it stays away!
At dusk, there were great views north along the beach from our camp, and a pleasant, soft, sunset light across the Gulf.
It really is a pretty place – I just wish our camp was better.
For tea I made potato rosti and a tomato sauce, using tinned tomatoes.