The afternoon’s challenge is to drive up to the Grassy Hill lookout. When someone says “steep” now, I envisage the hills on the Bloomfield track. My mighty monster purrs its way up – twice! – and I see roughly the view Captain James Cook must have seen when he went in search of a vantage point to assess his prospects when his ship ran aground on the coral reef. I can’t begin to imagine his sense of wilderness: so far from home, no way of communicating, a damaged boat, the possibility of ending his life and that of his crew, here, in what was not yet Cooktown.
Cook’s is not the only presence at the lookout given his name, and certainly not the first. The Aboriginal story for the creation of Wahalumbaal Birri (the Endeavour River) is told on a plaque.
The third presence is a rather stumpy corrugated iron lighthouse. It doesn’t need to be tall, given the prominence of its site.