Friday, November 12, 2010

The Island

Day 1

We woke up 0330 just in time to
take the early train from Brisbane central to Whynum North, the closest station to the ferry terminal, leaving us with a 7 km walk along highways and railways. At 1000 we were standing on a huge sand island known as Moreton Island. We hadn’t really planned anything and didn’t know what to expect so we just follow the beach up north. The early morning walk and the bad weather made the hike short and we decided to make camp for the night. It should be noted that we’ve increased the load of our packs to 40 kg for this tour because we had to increase our food and water supplies. Anyway it had been a great day and we went to bed pumped about how the rest of our visit would turn out.

Day 2

It was still raining when we woke up on our first morning on the island. At this point we pretty much knew that it was to clear up by noon because of scattered cumulonimbus. This was a perfect opportunity to practice knots and essential survival techniques. After we had dried the tent and eaten a good improvised pasta Bolognese we continued
exploring the island. On the far north side we bumped into a fisherman who was kind enough to give us a tailor for the evening supper. Determined to reach the north east point before sunset we had to wade in waist-high water and run through fallen trees on the shore. We got there just in time and set camp on the beach. We had a nice barbeque over the gas stove with mashed potatoes, the tailor and some whiskey.

Day 3

Everything is covered in sand. If you’re hiking on an island made of sand it is something you have to get used to. As usual we had a nice breakfast consisting of milk, muesli, sand and a nice cup of coffee before heading off. We held by now a legendary status among the four wheel drivers. A few of them even pulled over for a chat or to sponsor us with cold beers and food. It was a very hot day so their generosity couldn
’t have been more appreciated. Nourished we felt we had energy enough to mount the rings and do some Crossfit.

Day 4

After an early morning with a steady breakfast and Crossfit we headed south towards the inland track that would take us back to the starting point. After a good 5 km walk we came to a bypass that led up to mount Tempest, the world’s largest sand dune rising almost 300 meters above sea level. A coin flip was to decide whether or not we were to ascend it. It was a tough walk and after 1 hour we were standing on the top of mount Tempest. From up here we could see most of the island, an incredible view well worth the effort. In addition, it gave us important information about the topology of the island that we used to optimize our route planning. Exhausted but filled with valuable information we went back to the track. We soon realized that it was going to be a tiresome walk because we had to walk uphill the first 4 km in the loose sand. The cooling wind we felt on the beach couldn’t penetrate the dense vegetation so it pretty much felt like walking in a desert. Navigation under these conditions is hard and the heat increases the risk of making mistakes. However, knowing the risks is crucial and will decrease the possibility of getting into trouble. Tired we reached the target and made camp just before sunset.

Day 5

We woke up early to be able to catch the 1030 ferry and where there just in time to realize that the ferry was still running on its winter schedule. This gave us a perfect opportunity to test our survival skills by challenge ourselves to distillate seawater with things we could find in our backpacks. A couple of hours later we only
had enough water to cover the bottom of the bottle. We need to increase the efficacy of our water distillation system for sure, but how?

/Chris and DJ


  1. Ni ser ut att ha det fantastiskt.. kul bilder med .. bra jobbat gubbar.

    Micke B

  2. Vinzent saknar dig säger han .. sitter bredvid mig här och kollar

  3. Hallå Wildkids!! Oj va skoj ni har det och va duktiga ni är som bär runt på såna tunga ryggsäckar och det. Ni ser ut som två krusbär. Lycka till med destilleriet.

  4. Stora soom pizzor! När kommer videoklipp på insektsätande och onödiga klättringar uppför bergsväggar etc i äkta extreme survival anda?