Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Ingram Island

[Kyle]After a couple of days at Lizard Island, we left at first light for the sail to Ingram Island. There was plenty of wind and it was from almost dead astern, so we merely had to unroll the jib and watch the miles go by. We were hoping we would see more dolphins and whales, but they never came by. Most of the journey was in fifteen to twenty meters of depth, so maybe it was a bit thin for them.

We weren't expecting much from Ingram. The anchorage is basically in the lee of the island, which lies at the corner of a much larger reef that connects with other nearby islands. Ingram is a few hundred meters long, so we planned to go ashore and do a lap of the beach.

The location was pretty. Ingram is much closer to the mainland than Lizard, which covers the western horizon with a range of steep mountains. In between, several other islands filled in the space, which made for a nicely varied view from the boat.

We went ashore at low tide, which at first seemed like a really bad idea because it was difficult to find a route to the beach that didn't require wading a long way through the shallows. We were aware that there weren't necessarily no crocs around, so we were eager to minimize our time in shin-deep water.

After pulling our dinghy up high enough to allow for the rising tide, we started our walking circuit of the island by going counter-clockwise. At the back side of the island we found a bounty! Almost the entire space between the islands fringing Ingram Reef was filled in by sand flats. Sort of in the manner of Pancake Creek, we had almost a square mile of hard sand on which to perambulate. There wasn't a whole lot to see, but we did find lots of interesting shells and spooked a few crabs into their hidey holes. Mostly, it just felt good to open up and walk some real distance at a brisk pace. We did so because we knew we only had an hour or so before this would all be under water again.

When we got back to the island, we resumed our circuit along the beach. We poked around in lots of tide pools and disturbed a few birds unaccustomed to seeing people. Afterward, we dove inland to see the interior. There, we found even more birds, including a few Varied Honeyeaters. There must have been a few gull nests around, because these birds were regularly dive-bombing and squawking at us. We tried to be very aware of where we put our feet, but never found any nests in the interior. We did, however find a fluffy little chick swimming in the shallows by the beach.

In all, we spent three hours ashore, after originally thinking we might be back in under an hour. The wind was really picking up by then, so getting back to Begonia and getting aboard was a real time-it-and-jump affair. From the boat, we enjoyed the twice-daily spectacle of watching vast areas of sand change into vast areas of sea and back again. Apart from a few distant ships making their way up and down the shipping channels, we saw no other signs of humanity for our whole stay. Ingram turned out to be a very peasant place to pass a couple of days.

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