Well, that’s it... I just got back from my last camp. Compared to all my camps before, it was more a holiday trip than hard work.
I spent my first six days on a beautiful bay on Orpheus Island. It was a quite and peaceful beach with a really nice jetty (Yanks Jetty) and surrounded by hills. Every second day a school group arrived and we hiked for a day to the other side of the island. The walk was fairly painful and after one time hiking this way, the walk was quite annoying: the hike was up and down, cross-country, Lantana was making our life hard and additionally the surface full of rocks was dangerous to roll your ankle. Nevertheless the view from the top of the hills was awesome and we had a pretty good perspective to the other islands around.
Our destination was a marine biology research station from where the kids got picked up by a little boat to get them to their next activity on a different island. The teacher Bill and I were heading back with another boat to Yanks Jetty. In between of the hiking days we always had one day off. I really enjoyed being almost alone on such an amazing place. I went for a swim in crystal clear water, cracked by hand my founded coconuts, fed a big variety of fish with bread and Vegemite and lay down on the jetty for a nap… It was just another day in paradise. Another big advantage, making this lovely spot more comfortable was a real toilet and a barbeque grill. Although I normally sleep in bivis during my camps, I spent my nights in the food tent (with all the food supplies for the groups), saved from mossies and rain.
After the third big hike, I didn’t return to Yanks Jetty instead I went to Pelorus with my last walking group. Pelorus Island was an excellent place for snorkelling and discovering the corals. I was really surprised about the huge range of sea life.
I went snorkelling a couple times and had my first scooper diving lesson. Unfortunately I had problems with my ears, so I wasn’t really able to dive deeper than three metres. However it was an amazing experience and I wanna try it for sure another time again.
At the end of my camp I spent two days on the South Passage, a big sailing boat, which brought us back to Townsville’s harbour. Being on the South Passage means to be a part of the sailing crew with many different jobs for example being a “Port Lookout” (scan the sea for other ships or other obstacles in the water, a “deck
Check” or a “Helm” (you have to control the boat and steer it). We had perfect sailing weather and I enjoyed the knot competitions on board. Doing knots, one handed or blind in your assigned group and the main crew stopped the time. The work in different groups was going all day long and even at night people had to get up to do their shift. Definitely one of my highlights was to see an actual whale. It was quite far away but still an incredible moment.
On the one hand I’m said by thinking that this was surely my last school camp and I will absolutely miss it. I’m glad about all the experiences I was collecting due to this time and I learned a lot about myself, Australia, nature, animals and of course camping.
On the other side I’m convinced that I camped more than enough for the next two years- so I’m actually looking forward of being in civilization for the next while. :)