We had a cracking sail up to Pancake Creek, arriving around 3pm, beating Kandu but not Supertramp, who was comfortably anchored between Koonya and Marquise. We set our anchor on the same co-ordinates as last time, near a catamaran who should have been in the shallower section! He had gone by morning.
Intending to have a quiet evening, we de decided to wait until tomorrow to launch the Goon Bag, but then Mark contacted us and asked us over for a drink! We couldn’t say no, so launched The Goon Bag and then picked up Steve on our way to Koonya. Of course we had a very pleasant evening, swapping stories about the sail up and planning the next day. We had all intended to head ashore for a walk to Bustard Head light house, so agreed we should walk together, then have a BBQ on the beach in the afternoon. We were all planning to head off to Lady Musgrave on Tuesday, so this would give us a full day to appreciate the local area.
We woke early the next morning with no dinghy over our hatch, and a glorious blue sky greeted us. There was still a bit of breeze, but nothing too uncomfortable where we were, tucked into the Creek. We had to have pancakes for breakfast, as this is something I had always wanted to do at Pancake Creek! So I cooked up a pile of pancakes which we had with lemon, sugar, golden syrup, strawberries and butter, in Pete’s case, all together! This was good fuel for the walk ahead, which was about a 4 km round trip.
Pete went in around 10:30 to do a reccy for best landing spots, and found it better to land on the second beach than the third beach where the trail started. Because the tide was low, there was no real access to the third beach which had a lot of rock and coral before the sand, so we headed in to the second beach where a couple had set up camp, trying to make sure we gave them space. We all changed into walking shoes, then looked for a trail along the beach or in the bush behind to get us to the start of the walk.
After our steep climb to Sandy Cape, Pete and I were surprised at how gentle the rise was up over Clew Point and then along the saddle to Bustard Head. It was a really gentle climb, through beautiful bushland with a bright, white sandy trail. At several points we could look out to a fantastic view, one of the best being down to Aircraft Beach, the beach along Bustard Bay. As we approached the top, we glimpsed some white fencing through the trees, and on investigation found a small graveyard. Other than the gravestones, there was no information about these, until we did the lighthouse tour, where we found this to be the resting place of various lighthouse keepers and their family members.
We arrived at the light as a tour party from 1770 was just finishing up, so once they had moved on, we got to see the restored lighthouse keepers Cottage, the machine room with much historical reference information and the lighthouse itself. It was designed and built in the U.K., from cast iron squares, all numbered, so that it could be transported in pieces to Australia and then erected by following the numbers! We got to walk up the inside and then go out on to the small balcony around the base of the actual light, from where we had a 360 degree view from 1770 to Gladstone, taking in Jenny Lind Creek and the full extent of Pancake Creek, which is voluminous, though largely shallow. The various banks were obvious from our vantage point with the sun overhead. We also had a great view of the three rock outcrops, which the light had been designed to warn against, and the relative distances between them.
The walk back down was a little quicker, and we arrived at the beach around 1pm, feeling a little peckish and thirsty. Pete took everyone in the Goon Bag out to the boats to gather the food and drinks for our afternoon BBQ. A fire was lit, and sausages soon sizzling over it, while we relaxed and enjoyed a glass or two and the view out to the boats and beyond. We paddled in the water which was warm and inviting, and sat around and chatted until the food was cooked, then filled our grumbling tummies. Once the wine was finished, the sun was low in the sky and we shared around the “Diamonds” with Jocelyn’s excellent fruit cake. It was a fantastic sunset, and a perfect way to close a most enjoyable day. We left our camping friends on the beach, and headed back to the boats, agreeing to head off early for Musgrave.