Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 2: Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Day Two Vacation.

Port Douglas, Queensland.

Its 6.36 am and the boys are sitting at the bar in their pajamas eating Milo breakfast cereal.  Due to jet lag, both were asleep by 7pm and so we did quite well to sleep through till 5.37am

We arrived here in the early afternoon and enjoyed a visit to the beach and a swim at the main swimming area on the Port Douglas end of 4 mile beach.  The beach had the usual red and yellow lifeguard flags flying with big warnings posted about LOW RISK of stingers and the advice that crocodiles had been seen.

Crocodiles and stingers are big news up here.  At the pie shop where we had lunch you could buy crocodile pie alongside your beef, chicken vegetable and corn asparagus pies.  At the Sunday Market a store holder told me her friends had fled the river yesterday after a crocodile came after a fish they caught while out on the water in their tinny.

I asked "was it a very big crocodile?" thinking that it was a bit much to flee.

She answered "I didn't get a real idea how big it was but crocodiles are mean things that just want to eat you so they thought they'd get out of there." 

When Mum inquired about the beach warnings, the lifeguards said that while crocodiles are regularly seen swimming up and down this stretch of beach they were not  big problem to swimmers as they 'seldom' attacked people.  The theory is that saltwater crocodiles come into the ocean but feel a bit out of their element and prefer to catch fish and people in rivers and estuaries.  They have the warning up all the time.

Mum told Frost "always make sure there is one swimmer further out than you" on the theory that the crocodile or shark will eat the further out swimmer first.

Frost wore a yellow and black wetsuit and loved swimming.  He was not concerned about crocodile risk.  

Wren was very worried about crocodiles and stingers but forgot as he focused on jumping waves.  He kept up a constant dialogue about jumping a ONE wave or a TWO wave or doing his Keyhole move.

This morning, Sunday, after a walk along the beach in the early early morning, we came home for second breakfast.   Frost swam in the early light while Wren fought imaginary ogres with his wooden axe.   Cyclist peddled up the long flat beach at low tide and Frost pondered whether he could climb a palm tree if he really needed to and how he would get the coconut loose if he could.  Both collected coconuts and checked if they floated.

On the walk home we saw a giant butterfly.

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