Hexham Island and Port Clinton

The sail from Middle Percy Island was not a whole lot of fun – splashy and bumpy – but all the hatches were CLOSED and so there were no mishaps – thank the lord for small mercies. Eventually M was coerced by the conditions to detour to Hexham Island.

GOOD!

We made rock stacks to provide company for those already there…

Hexham Island

I climbed the hill to get some mobile coverage to co-ordinate plans with the Mothership and watched whales spout their way through the blue…

Hexham Island

Eagles Wings who we thought we had left behind, appeared nearby us in the bay and joined me up on the hill.

172/365 • atop Hexham Island yesterday afternoon looking for mobile signal, but dazzled by the view! We have seen so many whales along our journey and I could see several from the top of the hill, spouting mist into the sky ? The other catamaran in

In the the morning we raised the anchor and I presumed we were heading to Island Head Creek – as we had planned. You know when you have those moments when you realise you may have missed something, but get the sense that it is now too late to ask because you will embarrass yourself?

I began to realise we weren’t on the way to Island Head Creek, but didn’t want to give M any fuel for eyerolling, so I stayed quiet and tried to look Knowledgeable of All Things. I could see Eagles Wings scooting along, closer to the coast and began to presume that M had made some sort of arrangement that I had no idea about.

It wasn’t until we anchored did I realise we were in Port Clinton… It was a delicious anchorage – so lovely that I quietly slipped into the water off the back of the boat and swam to shore… Where I found something I had never seen before…

A HUGE tortoiseshell!! As big as…as…one of those car capsules you carry your new baby around in. BIG!! I could hardly believe that’s what it was. I flipped it over on the sand (it had been shell side down) and goggled at it some more…

I thought immediately of the Roald Dahl short story where a boy makes friends with an enormous turtle and rides on it out into the sea. Rosie had just rowed ashore and I went and squeaked at her about what I had found and she came and marvelled with me.

I had instant plans to put the tortoise-shell on to the boat. To keep it forever and have it on my (as yet hypothetical) verandah as evidence of past adventure. However, reality bites – it is a protected thing. So my grand ideas of having it made into hairbrushes or wall art disappeared into smoke…

What I had not realised about tortoise-shells is that the top layer peels. When you think about it, it’s kind of obvious. If their shell didn’t peel from the outside, their shell would grow bigger and bigger until it was super heavy…and the tortoise would find floating increasingly problematic.

Anyway, several pieces were on the sand when I turned it over, so I consoled myself (probably illegally) with those. It’s just like veneer!

Campfire on the beach with the crew of 'Eagles Wings'.

Another crazy thing that happened were that M and I saw an amazing meteor (and were apparently the only people in the world to do so, as no amount of googling indicates any evidence of its existence.

Bushfire sunset. Port Clinton.

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