When you are on the road ‘Would you kids please clean your room’ is easily swapped for “Would you please write in your diary?” And after comparing notes with others, I’m not alone in this fish-wife nagging.

I try to get creative. Crafty. Cleverly-sneaky. Anything to make those damn kids record their experiences.

And so I find myself on a wet and windy day in 1770 sharpening grey-led pencils and gripping the corner of an A4 sheet of weather-mangled paper while the Skipper and Squid boy take a rubbing of a rather historic plaque.

It’s not pretty, it’s not neat, but it’s there as clear as the brass plaque screwed into the Cairn:


The cairn commemorates the first landing of the “Endeavour” in Queensland at Bustard Bay. On 24 May 1770 Lieutenant James Cook anchored the Endeavour about 3km off the coast. With his botanist Joseph Banks and assistant Daniel Solander he ventured on to Aussie soil.

He may have even belted out a little jubilant “Khe Sahn” to commemorate the auspicious day.

During their time ashore the party shot a feisty bird called a bustard, wighing in a 6.8 kgs. Boy Squid delights in recalling weeks later when we spy a Bustard on the Savannah Way that Cook claimed this was the best meal he and his men had eaten since living ye old Blighty in 1768. Nothing like a bit of roast chook to lift the spirits!

This area became known as Bustard Bay. These are mere facts that I eagerly sprout to jolly boy Squid along. He has homework to do.

CaprainCook1770brassrubbingMission Accomplished!

We have conquered the town of 1770 and a naggy mother will be sure to bring this up during the speeches of a reluctant writing Squid’s 21st birthday in years to come.

When we cruise into Cooktown later in this trip, I know he’ll be pulling out the “Remember when we were in 1770?” recollection rather nostalgically.


There’s other stuff to do in and around 1770 too … my Squids did manage to record a few more things to make me happy like:-

  • The Paperbark walk (a newly opened mystical little walk 400 metre  walk about 3kms south of Agnes opposite Springs Beach)
  • Checking out the Lark amphibious boat thingies (our budget didn’t stretch to a ride on one however) 
  • Fishing…or in our case…hanging with the grey nomads fishing every day of their allocated 6 week stretch in the caravan park and watching the fish they haul in
  • Catching a fab sunset as pelicans coast onto the water


And for me it also involved a GP visit….that cough I mentioned waaaaay back on Fraser island? Yep, still with me. In fact the family has now rather affectionately names me “The hacker”…so its time I kicked it out of our camper-trailer life!

We hung out in the Beachfront Caravan Park  in 1770, and frankly so should you if you make it there… it’s got the best view, and it’s beachfront sites came with their own campfire fireplaces and resident pesky possums.


1770 is one of only three places on the east coast where you can see the sun set over the water … so we put the school work away and salute the sunset with a wine!

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