Pelican finally anchored in Princess Charlotte Bay at 3am. The Lama lama rangers, families and Andrew Martin from GBRMPA were due to meet us on the beach at Port Stewart (In language Port Stewart is known as Yintjingga-sea eagle). Garry and Raf did a reccie in the early morning to assess whet the best pick up point would be. They spotted the fresh tracks of a young crocodile, leaving the estuary for the sea.
Much of this journey has been a learning curve in understanding the local Sea Country and the best way for Pelican to work in it. The coast here does not make it easy. There is not much shelter from the prevailing trade winds and scant infrastructure to support our needs to safely board people from shore to boat. Port Stewart lies on a lee shore and this can only be used in very quiet conditions as if the winds blow up (which they do more than not), you are dealing with very rough conditions to take people on and off the boat.
We were fortunate that the conditions were the mellowest since we have been in this Far North Sea Country, allowing us to pick up 27 people, using both dinghies. The photo below is from the end of the day as we were preparing one of the dinghies to board.
We picked up our passengers at 10am from the beach. The TO's and rangers were all interested to see Pelican Island, about 13 nautical miles from Port Stewart. On the way we had lunch and arrived at the island at around 2pm.
Denzil watching ahead for reefs.
Aurora talking to Elaine Liddy, one of the Lama lama rangers. Elaine works for the Lama Lama Land Trust and DERM.
The Lama Lama finally had some of their land handed back to them in 2008 after 30 long years.
See- The Australian
They have now established a ranger station at Port Stewart but before this, many of the families were living most of the time on their country.
For more information on the Lama Lama Land Trust - read Page Three of Our place
Pelican Expeditions has a personal relationship with the Lama lama through Lara Crew and her son Finnley Sunlight. He is named after the Elder, now sadly passed, Uncle Sunlight. His daughter Seppy was with us today. I will leave that story for the skipper Garry McKechnie (Finnley's Dad) to tell in his log which we will share soon.
One of the TO's Uncle Keith, looking out over sea country.
Arriving at Pelican Island.
Looking at the reef around Pelican Island.
It is hard to convey the sparkling beauty of these waters.
The spit at the Northern end of the island. The bucket is from us for fishing. Beyond the bucket a group of sooty oystercatchers were resting in the rising tide.
One of the Lama lama TO's very happy with his catch.
One of the young Lama lama men showing just how a net should be cast. He got a fish with this throw!
Lama lama rangers. Alison, Elaine and Karen.
Pelican1 anchored at Pelican Island
Alison Liddy showing Karl how they are using the I-Tracker. Here she is showing the Lama lama map of sea country which is uploaded into the I- Tracker.
For more information about the I-Tracker
read page 8 of Our Place
Saltwater People Embracing Technology
Alison logging a dead Pelican into the I-Tracker. The island is home to many birds and in the short time we were there we saw sea eagles, pelicans, wader birds, terns and sooty oyster catchers.
Returning to Port Stewart. Pictured- Alison, Seppy and Karen.
For those further interested in co-operative management issues- Case studies
For some more information from GBRMPA see:
Mapping Indigenous Cultural Heritage in the Marine Park Page 6