So the big draw card to Tin Can Bay is the fact that you can hand feed the dolphins at the local boat ramp, something we thought the boys would delight in. It should be renamed, ‘hand feed the pockets of the mob that runs it’ as they charge you $5 per view and $5 per fish to line up, get you ankles wet, feed your dolphin one fish but dare don’t touch it or have any thought whatsoever about riding it like Flipper and then your .2 of a minute experience is over….. meh, the boys had more fun tempting fate with being pecked by the resident Pelicans than actually feeding a dolphin.
I do get why they have to put so many controls in place though as if every man and his dog thought they would fulfil their Seaworld dolphin trainer dream then there is no way they would hang around. But if they are getting a free feed every day with minimal effort then hey I am getting in line to come back as a Tin Can Bay Dolphin! We should have gotten the hint that it wasn’t going to be the most amazing day when Harry dropped the whole Salt shaker all over the cafe floor and Ollie followed it up with dropping his full strawberry milkshake.
Not all was bad with Tin Can Bay as this would have to be the most hedonistic fishing/ boating town we have ever set foot in. As we walked the streets everyone’s front yard was full of fishing nets and boating paraphernalia and when I walked into the shop to pay for the fuel there was a bunch of guys having a fish off and showing photos of the fish they had caught the day before. Even the guy behind the till was sponsored by ‘Gulp’ lures. Gold! It was like you had stepped back in time to a very simple life….. and we liked it a lot.
After the standard refill of fuel and water ( on this note Annie T’s diesel engine uses 3.8 litres an hour to run which in today’s prices equates to about $6!, very economical!!, she also holds about 1100 litres of water in 6 tanks but more on water usage later) we decided to leave Tin Can Bay and head for a little spot called Garry’s Anchorage up the Great Sandy Strait. The day was…… PERFECT, not a breadth of wind, the sun was out, the Strait was pure glass and we called this place the Turtle super highway as their little heads were constantly bobbing past us. We were hoping to maybe see one turtle on our trip but the little fellas are everywhere god bless them.
We arrived at Garry’s Anchorage around 2pm and anchored a little too close to another boat and I get the feeling they were not lovers of small children’s screams as they swiftly picked up their anchor and reset it 2 kilometres away. Hmm…..
We took the boys to shore where we met Mr and Mrs Fish (personally named of course) who were this gorgeous couple who were catching yabbies as bait for their next fishing adventure on the Strait. They were soo passionate about their fishing and I reckon they would have been aged in their early 70s but acting like they were 20. Ric and I looked at each other had a flash of ‘that will be us one day’. Old and salty and still holding hands and catching smelly fish. Everyone’s idea of romance I am sure! Harry dove straight in to picking up all the yabbies they extracted from the mud much to the couples delight.
We also had our first official invite to ‘Sundowners’ at Garry’s Anchorage by the gorgeous Molly and Colin. Sundowners is a boating tradition of everyone at a particular anchorage gathering at the beach with BYO grog and a plate of food to share to socialise and watch the sunset. Mr and Mrs Fish (I think they were also related to Alby Mangels) lit a bonfire much to the boys delight and Ollie being Ollie ate pretty much all the food everyone had brought in to the point we felt guilty and had to run back out to the boat to restock the nibbles.
I don’t think we need to say much more about the evening as I will let the photos speak for themselves. Stunning…. and there was a declaration all round that we NEVER want to go back to a house.
The next morning after our standard enthusiastic Lego building session in the cockpit we decided to head to Kingfisher Bay Resort on the inside of Fraser Island. After a rather breezy and somewhat shallow motor up the inside of the Great Sandy Straits we anchored and went in to watch another stunning sunset. I don’t think we had personally witnessed 5 sunsets or sunrises in the past 10 years and we have just seen both for 5 days in a row. Makes you realise some of the beautiful things you miss whilst caught up in the monotony of the society defined ‘dream’.
The next day just happened to be my birthday and to celebrate we did a gorgeous bush walk (well walk for the majority, Ollie did his standard 500m run, clagged it, turned around and put his arms up and had to be carried for the next 4 km) followed by lunch at the resort. Hubby of the year then organised cake, cheese and champers on the dock at sunset and the whole bar joined in the Happy birthday song. Lucky me!
Whilst in full birthday swing we met Peter and Sonia from Noosa who we get the feeling were impressed by our alternate life and gave us their 4WD to use for the next day on Fraser Island. AWESOME!! For our green friends out there, this is a must visit place. We have never seen so many different landscapes in such a small area. One minute we were in dense rainforest (as exhibited by Harry’s super impressed tree pose) and the next in sand dunes, vast rock formations and freshwater inland lakes.
As we reminisce on the day only one thing stands out in our mind and that is Harry and Ollie singing whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa for 7 hours straight as we went over the ruts and bumps in the sand tracks. Oh and swimming in Eli Creek and racing a rain shower from the top of Indian Head back to the car was pretty cool too. We beat it by a millisecond! The last day on Fraser Island will be from this day known as ‘I believe you Lindy Chamberlain’ day as we popped into the beach to let the boys have a run only to have a DINGO appear out of nowhere and size them up for lunch. Ric swiftly channelled his best Neanderthal and chased it up the beach complete with stick in hand. The opportunistic thing had 3 more attempts before it gave up. We believe you Lindy…….