Hello from Coquette Point,
A very wet, windy and cold week has at last broken into sunshine but only very late this afternoon.
This morning (3 June) I accepted an invitation from Mandubarra elder Nellie Epong to be present at a turtle release at Cowley Beach. Although overcast the day was warm with a gentle wind blowing: a perfect day for a turtle release.
Around 100 people from the Cowley Beach and adjacent communities attended. The turtle, which had been found starving late last year had been a third under normal body weight. She was taken to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre where she was nursed back to health by Dr Jennie Gilbert and helpers. Over the last few months this green sea turtle has been eating up to 65 squid each day and now weighs 145kilos.
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The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, which was co-founded by Jennie has released nine turtles back to the Great Barrier Reef so far this year.
Following the turtle release we all enjoyed a feast put on by the ‘Mandubarra clan”. Tree planting as part of a dune restoration programme followed.
(Thanks to Richard Piper, Yvonne Cunningham, Russell Constable and Liz Gallie for the rolling photos left)
We all went home tired and happy: a truly memorable day thank you Mandubarra mob.
Just as I was leaving Cowley Beach we saw two pelicans. The first pelicans I have seen on the coast in over two years.
The Cassowary Dad 1’s two chicks are growing up and are starting to get their colours. I recently took photos of them and put together their progress and interactions with the Coquet Point Community over the last year and half.
A Yellow oriole flew into the nursery on Friday and spent the afternoon annoying the drongos and making a lot of noise until it settled down in a quandong tree in the rainforest.
I received an email out of the blue this week giving me news of ‘Crewcut’. In 1963 I sailed to New Guinea on a little sailing boat called ‘Crewcut’ with a young fella called Dennis Lobb.
The new sewerage farm was seeded this week and I believe should be commissioned next week. This will have a huge impact on the water quality of the Johnstone River.
However the cost of running this unit will be considerable. The old farm worked on gravity feed for most of its delivery whereas, the new farm will incur an annual electricity bill in the millions of dollars.
Cheers for now,