|Have to be back at 7pm or else|
First spotted by Captain James Cook in 1770, he named the inlet where we were docked today Trinity Bay, as he landed on Trinity Sunday. Gosh, this fellow really got around, didn't he? One hundred years later, gold was discovered in Palmer River, bringing miners to populate the region. Although it did not last long, the gold rush brought settlers to Cairns, where eventually, the real gold was to be found in the way of tourism.
We are referring to the fruit bats or flying foxes as they are so aptly nicknamed. There had to be hundreds of them hanging upside down, fanning their over-size wings in an attempt to stay cool. Did we mention that the temperatures were soaring this morning, with the humidity as high as it could be? It was no wonder that the fruit bats were making such a loud noise among themselves. So loud, we could hear it a block away. Carefully, very carefully, we strolled under the trees, taking photos, trying not to disturb them too much. As we inspected the ground under the trees, we saw that this could be a dangerous thing to do. We did not linger very long. It was so darn hot, we decided to make our way towards the shoreline to walk along the beach.
The best part of this stroll was the chance to watch the wading birds that frequent the beach and mudflats as the tide goes out. According to the info available along the way, there are 50 species of birds here, with as many as 3500 being spotted at one time.
|A fisherman casting his net|
In one grassy spot, there was a local fellow casting a net close to shore. It appeared that he was picking up three types of crabs and gobes, perhaps to be used as bait. Larger fish caught here are barramundi, mangrove jacks, and in deeper waters, the magnificent black marlin. In fact, this area is named the Marlin Coast, attracting anglers from around the world.
|We were not wading|
|Another shore bird|
What you will not see on these beaches are swimmers or sunbathers. Why, you may ask? Box jellyfish is the answer. These creatures invade
|Nice stretch of deserted beach|
|The Esplanade Lagoon|
|The kiddie pond|
The restaurant we have visited on past trips was Olano's on the waterfront and small boat harbor. But for some reason, we could not find the sign. The building was still there, but the name had changed to the Marina Paradiso. Same place, same food, different name. They featrued Italian cuisine, specializing in pizza. All right......pizza and beer would work. It was not crowded, even though it was around 1:30pm. We suspect that the intense heat and humidity have kept most folks inside today.
|The Night Markets|
|The Reef Hotel Casino|
We found nothing of interest in the Night Market, so we went back to Woolworths and purchased room snacks such as dips, chips, and yes, Tim Tams. This would be our last chance to buy the sweet treats, although we seem to remember buying the special cookies in Singapore. The ship was due to leave around 7:30pm, and it sure looked and felt like rain was coming soon. You can tell when you see the locals carrying umbrellas. They know. Eventually, the rain did fall, but not until after sunset. Truthfully, we would have welcomed it today.
Keith did indeed survive his trip to the reef. Even though he did not swim or snorkel, he did take the glass bottom boat and submarine rides twice. The food offered on the pontoon was not to his liking, but we knew that. He did admit that finally seeing part of the reef was a great learning experience, and now he can mark it off of his list of must-see things to do. The bad thing was that he found out he had one picture left on his 4 gig card, and did not realize that Margaret's camera was at the bottom of his bag. Perhaps that may be a good excuse to repeat the excursion one day in the future. By the way, Margaret went shopping, which is always fun.
There was a big screen movie, All Is Lost, with Robert Redford in the Queens Lounge this evening. Wonder how many folks will go at 10pm to almost 12am after such a long day in Cairns? Probably only those who love the bags of popcorn that are provided at the entrance.
One day at sea, and we will be in a very different part of the world......Papua New Guinea.
|A shopping complex|
|Outback Jack's Bar and Grill|
|Many cafes in town|
|A War Memorial|
|Bill relaxing under the fig tree|
|Masked lapwing bird|
|Giant seashell sculpture|
|Bird working the surfline|
|An insect eater - magpie lark|
|A reef yacht|
|Pathway to the boat harbor|
|These are inviting|
|Cairns Marlin Marina|
|Nice wooden walkways|
|An older establishment|
|The local library|
|The Casino dome|
|Going back home|