Wednesday 6 November 2013

Nature's bounty

It was a day of satisfying connections, although the first one was a failure: nobody was there to meet us at Mungalla Station, where we were to introduce an Aboriginal element to this trip. Shame. It was also a worry about the two small brown frogs in the loo there that I didn't see till I flushed it, when they suddenly leaped up from the whirling water, but were swept away.

Back in Townsville we had a good poke around the excellent museum, with its dinosaurs (very big here in Queensland, as we learnt last time) and display of the Pandora, sent to bring the Bounty mutineers home for punishment, and getting wrecked on the Reef nearby. (That's a moment of the drama in the photo: anatomically-correct mutineers escaping from their prison on deck.) We saw the Bounty's chronometer in Nantucket a while ago; and drank spruce beer recently in Alaska - there were spruce pots on display brought up from the wreck. Anti-scurvy. (There were other pots too, chamber pots, including one "for use during long dinners in the wardroom".)

Then we went to the ReefHQ next door and watched all sorts of strange creatures flitting about, some of them just cartoon-creepy glowing eyes in the dark. And we met a handful of turtles being rehabilitated after various misadventures including one poor old lady both sliced by a propellor and chomped on by a croc.

Finally we had a delicious dinner at C-Bar on the beach, waves breaking in the dark, lights winking, frogs and bats creaking and squeaking, and a warm breeze blowing. Lovely.

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