The cruise of the Francois 1928 The Journey Southwards 20th to 21st May 1928 The following day, a strong, gusty breeze took hold as they cast off from the Cairns wharf and began to head south. Fighting a nasty head sea, it took the vessel three unpleasant hours to pass Cape Grafton and arrive at the southern end of Fitzroy Island. Early in the afternoon the schooner anchored under lee of the north-west side of High Frankland Island. Most of the party went ashore and found it a very delightful spot, ‘a Garden of Eden’, though heavy rain gusts played havoc with their photography. They found a dozen coconuts and numerous seashells. That evening their cosy cabin was filled with the aroma of a boiling ham. Two of the party had gone fishing, as they hadn’t eaten fish for a few days. The vessel remained at anchor through the next miserable, blustery day. Beginning with maintenance, the boat was thoroughly cleaned and the men went ashore and scoured all pots and pans in the sand on the beach. The business end completed, they strolled along the shore looking for shells.  Sea snakes, three feet long, black with yellow bands, chased them out of a rock pond. A wild lemon tree provided them with an accompaniment for their anticipated seafood. That evening the ladies excelled in the galley and presented a ‘banquet de luxe’. Another damp, dismal day followed. The only break in the day’s monotony was when a fishing smack, Edward out of Cairns, passed during the afternoon trolling for mackerel. As the next day dawned fine and sunny, Francois proceeded south to Dunk Island. By mid-morning the seas had again become choppy and progress was slow, even under steam. Hard rain and blustery wind continued as they anchored under the north-west side of the North Barnard Island. A party went ashore hoping to shoot a goat. They saw a few nanny goats with kids but didn’t have the heart to kill them and leave the little fellows alone. The fish were not biting – the bad weather had sent them elsewhere. From North Barnard they departed for Dunk Island the next morning, 23rd May, setting the foresail and running with choppy seas. © Copyright 2011  Julianne Dodds Did You Know? Mac photographed the fishing smack Edward in 1928. Williams Collection. Taken from an original negative. Left: The main beach at Dunk Island - 1928. Photo taken by the Francois party. Williams Collection Yellow-bellied sea snake Pelamis platurus The Yellow-bellied sea snake is found in the Indian and Pacific oceans in tropical and subtropical waters within a few kilometres of the coast, preferring shallow inshore waters. The maximum length of this sea snake is 113 cm. Reproducing sexually in water, this species is ovoviviparous, which means that embryos develop inside eggs that are retained within the mother's body until they are ready to hatch. Sea snakes can stay underwater between 1.5 and 3.5 hours. They are capable of cutaneous breathing, removing oxygen from the water and releasing carbon dioxide. The yellow- bellied sea snake has a salt gland under its tongue, which secretes salt taken in from the water. It is a carnivore and also venomous - it chews poison into fish and then swallows them. Their venom could pose a threat to humans as it is neurotoxic but no human fatalities have been reported. By lunch they were anchored in Brammo Bay, 100 yards from the shore. Photo taken by Francois’ crew approaching Dunk Island. Ted Banfield’s home can be seen among the palm trees. Williams Collection.