If 2002 was the year of our shakedown, 2003 is the year of getting confidence in each other's handling of the boat and trying skills we haven't had to use for twenty five years. Like reef exploration and overnight journeys. This year Lizard Island is the goal. We missed it twenty five years ago when we brought our yacht around to Coffs Harbour from Darwin - time to experience it now.
And if the weather permits we will travel via the reefs rather than the coastal route between Bundaberg and Great Keppel Island. Watching the turtles laying their eggs last year at Lady Musgrave Island awakened our interest in Fitzroy Lagoon and the other reefs in the Capricorn group.
13 June 2003
At 11.20 am we left Manly boat harbour aiming to cross Wide Bay Bar in the early morning light the next day. At 6.30am as we approached Snout Point having just crossed the bar, we were in pea soup thick fog, which enveloped us for several hours as we groped our way using radar up to Garry's Anchorage, throwing the anchor down as soon as we could get out of the main channel. The fog lifted sometime that morning as we slept.
15 June 2003
Using favourable tides we spent the whole day making our way to Port Bundaberg marina at Burnett Heads, where we fuelled up as soon as the bowser opened the next morning - the cheapest diesel on the Queensland coast - and headed off to Lady Musgrave Island. We had to increase our revs to 1180 (increasing our speed from 7.2 to 7.4 knots) so that we would make it early enough to still be able to see the reef and get through the entrance to the lagoon. As it happened we were still 5 miles off our waypoint at 3.30pm, too late to start mucking around amongst coral really. Fortunately we had been there several times before and know there is a large patch of sand just inside the entrance, which we anchored on at 4.45pm.
16 June 2003
For the next four days we moved along the reefs from Lady Musgrave to Fairfax, Boult, Fitzroy, Wistari and North West Island, fishing (I caught my first coral trout.) Light breezes and calms made conditions perfect. I'll never forget the sensation of motoring between Heron and Wistari Reefs, accompanied by a whale. They are so vast and so clear in the water, the cay of Heron Island perfectly white in the sun.
20 June 2003
Great Keppel Island is a beautiful place. I love it every time I re-discover it. But I am a sucker for coconut palm-lined beaches and Great Keppel has plenty of those. The water is so clear in the anchorage off the resort that we can see the stabiliser fins shining three metres down as though through air. While up on the roof Philip noticed a squid going by. Flopped in the squid jig - something we had never had any luck with - and the thing went for it enthusiastically. Mmm-mmm. Squid for dinner.
23 June 2003
Our 49.25 nautical mile trip to Island Head Creek from Great Keppel ended up being much longer as we managed to pick the tides and currents perfectly with the incoming tide taking us north towards the Broadsound in the morning and the outgoing tide pushing us further north from the Broadsound in the afternoon. We picked up a knot of current most of the way and the temptation to go on was irresistible. Dropped anchor in the small anchorage at Hexham Island, crowded with boats, at 6.20 pm and nearly dark. I think we caused a few hearts to flutter as we wove in and out of them with our arms extended looking for a spot.
There Philip discovered a pinhole leak in the copper bend from the gearbox salt water pump but was able to fix it by cutting and rejoining the pipe.
3 July - 13 August
I don't know why, but we never feel as though we've reached the Whitsundays until we get to Cid Harbour. Cid is Whitsunday Central, pretty much protected from any direction and very comfortable too. When you are in Cid Harbour you don't need to be quite so alert even in your sleep as you have to be at most anchorages.
Nevertheless, by the time we got to Cid, we'd already stopped at Goldsmith, Lindeman and Thomas Islands, some of our favourites.
The Whitsundays are also the most relaxing place to have visitors because there is always something you can do or somewhere you can take them whatever the weather. This year Tim and his girlfriend visited us for a week and gave us the excuse to visit everyone's Whitsunday favourites: Airlie markets, pubs and nightspots; Hill Inlet and Whitehaven; Bait Reef and some favourite fishing spots.
Arrived at Magnetic Island at 5pm after an "accidental" through trip from Gloucester Island near Bowen. We had planned to get a 4.30am start and perhaps go through to Cape Bowling Green or Cape Cleveland but woke at 2.30am and decided to to leave then. It was only after up-anchoring and getting underway that we realised it was only 12.30am....we'd misread the clock!
I love Magnetic Island. It's not tropical nor a cay with coconut palms. But seems to be made up of boulders heaped up then covered with foliage. Many small beaches all around the island - each with its own attractions. Anchored in Horseshoe Bay but did a couple of walks through dryish scrub to Radical Bay and Balding Bay - both idyllic beaches with lagoon green water over sand.
We also took the open sided bus across the island. A lot of the housing is innovative, open or reminded us of Malaysia. Beautiful gardens with big trees. The island still has the open air theatre I remembered from 25 years ago. Most of the hire cars are Mini Mokes and they are perfect for the island.
Juno Bay (Fantome Island) - Bramble Reef/Otter Reef. Today the sea is mirror calm and seemingly merging into the horizon. We had to use our navigation software to find our way along the edge of Bramble Reef. Even though it was low tide, the reef was still well under water. We decided to continue on to the unnamed reef between Bramble and Britomart as it looked less studded with coral on the chart. The trouble with Bramble, on this day anyway, is that the bommies aren't visible until you are nearly on them - not a good feeling.
Fishing a bit disappointing though we did catch two fingermark bream. Our second night at Otter Reef was not so quiescent - but then we may as well have been anchored in the middle of the ocean for the amount of protection those low reefs gave us. Luckily the weather was extra good - under 15 knots. Disappointed with what we saw of Otter Reef. Dead and covered with green algae. (But it does have good TV reception!)
Arrived at Dunk Island at lunchtime to find I'm still in love with it. The landscape is tall, the gardens wild, bursting with coconut palms and littered with shooting coconuts. The resort itself is both romantic, in a Rafflesian way, and elegant. Large spaces that are canopies without walls and rattan sofas. I know what I want my "cottage" on Russell Island to look like.
The next day we took the tinnie across to Mission Beach. Not what I expected. Unprepossessing houses in a strip opposite the beach, from where people launched their boats with a tractor. Very shallow sandy bottom out a long way. In fact the water taxi to Dunk has its passengers wade out to board with their eskies and other possessions - a touch of the past you don't see much any more. Most tours are sanitised and luxurised to the point where people don't expect to have to do anything like get their feet wet.
At last the water temperature is pleasantly warm enough to want to swim in it.
24 August - Dunk Island to Mourilyan Harbour
Our first time in Mourilyan Harbour and it certainly is protected. Lots of swinging room up the creek as well as sand flats and mangroves. No luck with yabbies on the closest beach to the mouth after the pile berths at the other side of the harbour - but then, our nervousness about possible crocodiles diminished our enthusiasm for searching for them somewhat.
On the way to Fitzroy Island we stopped for lunch at Russell Island which has a couple of National Park moorings near the coral.
Arrived at Fitzroy Island in glassy conditions just in time for drinks on the aft deck watching the sun set over Cairns. The next morning we went ashore early and did a couple of the walks: to the lighthouse, quite steep in parts, after which I re-traced my steps and Philip continued to the peak, looping back to the resort via a very steep track of made steps. The "Secret Garden" walk was flat and shaded, through rainforest. Very pretty.
Fitzroy Island beach is still as I remembered it from twenty five years ago - weathered coral that tinkles as you walk on it. The water is clear lagoon green that lights up in the sunlight. Colourful parrot fish swim around the jetty pylons scrunching on the growth.
At 2 o'clock we decided to put ourselves a bit closer to Cairns as well as having a brief look at Turtle Bay, by making for Mission Bay as our anchorage for the night.
As we passed Turtle Bay we could see a 50' motor cruiser which had been anchored near us at Fitzroy, close to the beach. Very close to the beach. Philip quickly realised they were in the surf, parallel to the beach and side on to the waves - in fact the people were standing on the shore trying to lever the boat from the shallows with a large tree limb and could step onto the marlin board from the shore!!
The whole bay was quite shallow so we couldn't go in far, but by having a runabout take our long rope and joining it to a rope from the stranded boat, we were able to stay 140 metres out while trying to tow them off. Philip first tied a bridle to our cockpit bollards. To that he tied our heavy towing line. When the two lines were joined and attached to the bow of the other boat he had to maneuvre so that we were slightly ahead and to seaward of them. Essentially we were trying to tow their bow sideways to face out of the bay but he didn't want to be too brutal. While Philip maneuvred, I stood on the swim platform handling the warps, pulling them in and letting them out so they didn't get caught on our prop. When we were in position Philip slowly took up any slack while I retreated into the cabin for safety in case any of the lines snapped and whipped back at me. Philip then slowly powered up to about 1350 RPM keep a steady pull on their bow and kept it up for twenty minutes.
Fortunately a few large waves lifted their bow as we pulled constantly and gradually their bow turned seawards. A bit more pulling and they were in deep water and, miraculously, able to motor under their own steam back to Cairns.
The whole episode, from when we first noticed them to when we were again underway towards Missionary Bay, took us just over an hour. I wonder if "Rainbow Princess" realised how much luck was involved in saving their ship: they were lucky we happened by when we did, as they'd only just stranded; they were lucky we had heavy displacement and heavy deck gear and warps; they were lucky there was a runabout there to take the ropes as we couldn't get close enough; they were lucky the waves raised their bow just at the right time and they were lucky the rescue took no more than twenty minutes, because just as they came off our engine overheating alarm began to sound - we would not have tried any longer.
(Mission Bay turned out to be shallow a long way out and a mediocre anchorage - nothing to see and a rolly, gusty place.)
28 August - 2 September - Yorkey's Knob Marina
Spooked by Alan Lucas' description of crowded Cairns harbour and coupled with our friends' Jim and Margot's recommendation of Yorkey's Knob, we decided to give it a try. Seven miles north of Trinity Inlet, it is a bit off the beaten track - a beach suburb of Cairns. The marina does have a courtesy bus to the shops and the regular bus runs into Cairns. Showers and laundry leave a bit to be desired. However it is quite cheap ($130/week for 15 m berth).
We hired a car for a couple of days and used it mercilessly - driving through the Atherton tablelands down to Innisfail the first afternoon, up to Port Douglas for the Sunday morning markets as far as the Cape Tribulation ferry, then back to Cairns and out to Kuranda. We decided you could easily spend a week just touring the Tablelands.
One day I took the bus into the city while Philip waited for our outboard to be delivered after servicing. Cairns is 100% energy. Lots of backpacker joints and tour promotion/booking offices and places selling sarongs; restaurants with touts and discounts for eating before 7pm. And Rusty's bazaar is still there - albeit only fruit and veg now and in a new location (from when we were here 25 years ago). Lots to look at.
Philip and I had a drink at a bar opening on to the street, which had a very good singer doing songs from "our era". We ended up staying for burgers and beer - we had the best seats in the house. Another tropical evening we wandered along the esplanade until we came to a tiny BYO making rich traditional pizzas with an aroma to die for. We sat on the street with our bottle of red. Pigs in Mud.
After a week in port we were glad to be on our way again. Yorkey's is a bit down at heel, as well as a long way from the shops etc. The entrance is tidal and rough. Not good enough weather to go to Vlassof's Cay or Michaelmas. Maybe on the way back. Double Island quite a good anchorage only 5 miles north. Anchored among the trawlers.
About a 20 mile hop to Low Isles, your stereotypical idyllic island cay with white sand, coconut palms, and a cute white lighthouse with a red cap. Walt Disney couldn't do better. It was a strong wind warning while we were there and we discovered that the swell comes around the corner at high tide, catching anchored boats side on. We were lucky with our stabilisers but other boats put up with some serious rolling most of the day.
We met the new marine park ranger, Steve, who lives on the island with his wife and daughter. He mentioned that his wife had taken the tinnie to Port Douglas to do her casual job and found it a bit rough on the way!
7 - 9 September - Low Isles to Hope Isles
The Weather Bureau's 15 - 20 knots looks more like 10 - 15: just as we like it. Very pleasant travelling but too overcast to stop at Mackay Reef as we'd planned so we came through to Hope Island, arriving about an hour after low tide at 2 pm. Taking the channel between the two islands, the reefs and bommies were very visible with the sun behind us.
Arrived just before two yachts whom we'd been trailing since Low Isles and were lucky enough to get one of the two moorings.
We lowered the dinghy and went ashore with the bait net and fishing line. My diary from 1982 mentioned schools of bait fish just off the beach and, sure enough, they were there again today. One throw netted enough bait for several bags in our freezer. No luck with the fishing though. Met Terry from San E T who suggested fishing from the back of the boat just on sunset "before the sharks come in." (We tried it but only managed snags.)
Snorkelling from the beach at low tide on the turn, the water was like soup but it was a wonderful feeling swimming into the huge schools of bait fish which parted to let me through but immediately joined up behind me. Also small sand rays who weren't frightened if I didn't move suddenly.
Philip walked on the reef to the south of the island, the very low 0.2m tides today exposing colourful corals who don't often experience the light of day. He took me in the dinghy to the channel between the outer reef on the south side and inner reef to drift back to the anchorage on the current, snorkelling. The water clarity was still not brilliant but 5-6m visibility OK. Some dead coral but a very good range of staghorns, plate and brain corals, clams and big "roses" on "walls" along the edge and small shallow canyons.
Fishing in the channel after snorkelling yielded a gold spotted Trevally, which we ate with the last of our mackerel.
Seven days out of Yorkey's Knob today and our bread has had it. I've spent the last couple of hours making, kneading, proving (twice!) and baking a couple of loaves. I'm tempted to snorkel again but the wind is a blowier 20 knots today, though sunnier than yesterday. Perhaps I'll sew a sun awning or type up this diary...or maybe I'll read.....
This is a very good anchorage in all tides - much better than Low Islets.
10 -11 September - Hope Isles to Cooktown
A beautiful day - sunny with about 10 knots of wind East Southeast. Lighter winds are predicted in the next few days so we hope to get to Cooktown at lunchtime, see the museum, top up our supplies and take off early tomorrow.
Cooktown still strikes me as a frontier place. Whether it is the dusty streets right by the sea or the four wheel drives parked nose in to the kerb or the old verandahed buildings I don't know. There have been a few changes since we were here 20 years ago, including getting automated telephone, knocking down the old pub closest to the pier and replacing it with an attractive building - now a "resort" - and, worst of all, changing the museum!!!
The Cooktown Museum is still in the old convent which has been beautifully restored. Unfortunately a lot of the actual exhibits have been "wankerised" with a grant from the government. Luckily it is still crammed with goodies in the old cases up stairs. Modern curators don't seem to get that part of the charm of museums is the old cases and quaint displays, themselves relics of the past.
The old bank building also houses an exhibit of old photos, showing Cooktown life in its heyday in 1870's - a pretty good collection. The kerbs and guttering of the main street of Cooktown are of hand hewn granite dating back to when it was a rich gold mining centre - the largest town in North Queensland.
Other than that, Cooktown now has quite a reasonable supermarket, the best sausage rolls in North Queensland and more butchers than you'd think warranted for a population of 600. These include the "Roadkill Butchery".
There were not many boats anchored in the creek when we were there but you can see how it would be very crowded with more than a few deep drafted vessels looking for a spot to anchor. We came in 2 hours after the spring low, anchored in 2.2m and went aground for a short time ......and we were in the good bit.
Tonight we went across to the pier, beers in hand, to watch them unloading live coral trout onto a flat bed tray truck on which sat 2 plastic skips of seawater. They're sent to Cairns (4 hrs) and are on a plane the next morning to Asia. Current prices to the fishermen are $43/kg for fish up to 1.5kg and $43/fish for larger fish.
12 - 13 September - Cooktown to Lizard Island Lagoon
How do you describe this place? We have arrived in sparkling sunshine with hardly any wind: the coral reefs light up like jewels. We anchored off a sandy spit glowing through the water on the southern side of the lagoon. Just one other boat here. We've been a bit disappointed with the water clarity - in twelve metres we can't see the bottom. But snorkelling, the water seems clear with beautiful corals, particularly soft corals and brilliant blue starfish.
Today we went in the dinghy to the research station for the Monday tour. A video, very interesting presentation and viewing and discussion of the live tanks. It turns out the research station is run by the Australian Museum and scientists from around the world can apply to do their research there. Run on the basis of a resort - taking accommodation bookings for those scientists whose research submissions are successful.
Drinks and a BBQ aboard a friend's catamaran - they had come around to the lagoon to get away from the norwester.
16 September - Lizard Island Lagoon to Watson's Bay
On our way to Watson's Bay we decided to stop for a fish at North Direction Island, only 4nm from the lagoon. Using the echo sounder we eased into the shoals, finding a bommie with apparently clouds of fish on it. While we drifted with the engine still running we both threw in (using the frozen bait netted at Hope Island). First bite and I pulled up a 45cm coral trout. Within minutes we were off the spot and no bites so Philip manoevred back to the same spot and we threw in again. Bang! Another bite - another coral trout 45cm. Meanwhile Philip had a huge bite that took hook line and sinker and I got something that took my line under coral and I lost the lot.
After an hour of fishing our final haul was 4 classic red coral trout. Having exhausted our little packet of bait we moved around to Watson's Bay where we anchored among 8 - 10 other boats about 50' from the coral in the middle of the bay.
Who says Lizard Island is isolated? In distance perhaps, but courtesy of the research station, the resort's "Marlin Bar", National Parks and the seaplane from Cooktown, yachts are able to : get rid of rubbish, make phone calls, get bore water, post letters, cook on a gas stove ashore and have groceries flown in from Cooktown at $7.50 a box. Today Keimar is even getting water from another yacht which has a water maker. About the only things that aren't available and can't be flown in are ice and fuel.
18 - 21 September
Good snorkelling here in the bay. A garden of giant clams, amazing variety of corals in good condition and lots of fish. We have seen a couple of small sharks in the bay - but Reef Tips only.
One day we walked to Cook's Look at the top of the mountain. Lizard Island is a barren, rocky, treeless place and the walk is a hot, dusty and steep one. Because it is so treeless, there are magnificent views for the entire walk, back to Watson's Bay, across to the lagoon and, luckily for Captain Cook, over to the ribbon reefs twenty miles away, where the passages through the reefs are visible.
It is unimaginable how Captain Cook was able to to do the walk in the heat decked out in woollen breeches, topcoat and boots.
Every night a gathering of boaties anchored in the bay meets on the beach for sundowners and to watch for the "green flash" as the sun goes down. Tonight 20 dinghies anchored in a row. The beach is white sand, flanked behind by a few casuarinas before the relentless barrenness of the island. The water is clear lagoon over white sand over which small schools of mullet and whiting swim laconically, staying just out of reach of humans.
Last night we had a video night - "South Pacific" the feature.
Today has been a 20-25 knot southerly day and that is predicted for the next couple of days as well. So we have been amusing ourselves "doing computers". I have been finishing a couple of spreadsheets and Philip has been burning and swapping CDs.
Our fresh food is lasting reasonably well. We are now three weeks out of Cairns and look like we will have fresh vegs for another week I hope. I was disappointed a couple of days ago when I did an inspection and found that a whole lettuce, whole cucumber and half the snowpeas had carked it, while several of the other vegs were looking a bit down at heel.
I haven't been inspecting and re-wrapping as diligently as I should. Along the coast further south it doesn't really matter because you are always within striking distance of fresh food. At this stage I am making menus strictly according to the order in which we have to eat the fresh stuff. (See my hints on keeping fresh produce longer).
Guess who turned up in the anchorage the other day! MV Rainbow Princess - still trying to get as close to the beach as possible.
Today a dinghy safari around to the north west beach on Lizard for snorkelling, led by Bill and Debbie. A school of hump headed wrasse? No. Bigger, pointier humps. Philip reckons it's like swimming with bison. I saw an octopus and a squid, which we watched as he changed from maroon to grey and back again, all the while rippling his wings and keeping his back to the wall and his eyes on us. And a good sized coral trout just off the beach in about a metre of water. Quite a bit of dead and damaged coral (as well as a lot of regeneration) so lots of different parrot fish.
Philip and I look a trick in our lycra stinger suits and hoods - but at least we don't sunburn. I take that back - we get small sunburnt patches on our forehead, nose and tops of our cheeks where we're not covered by snorkels, suits or goggles.
The days are hot and bright but the breeze is cool - perfect temperature the result.
I'm losing track of time. There is so much to do here and so many boats (30 at last count) it is very social. Sundowners on the beach every night attracts 20 - 60 people. We meet someone new every day.
One afternoon a 2pm BBQ at the camping area. Hot and barren. The National Parks people have had a burn off recently and there is no shade. You don't have to move far from the beach to be hot. Not for us. We looked in but soon scampered back to the boat after a beach walk. Last night we went over to SV Romance for a movie - the latest James Bond - with Peter and Trish from Absconder. Lots of fun and popcorn.
A "swap meet" and BBQ has been suggested for Sunday. Bookswapping and anything else you want to get rid of. Tonight SV Lady Hawke left for Cooktown. Back tomorrow with supplies. SV No More also heading south.
25 September - THE COD HOLE!!!
10 nm from Lizard Island, 14 nm from Watson's Bay.
What a day. Bill and Debbie (Romance), Anne and Brian (Hybreasail), Clare and Warren (Storm Child) joined us to go snorkelling at the Cod Hole at the top of Ribbon Reef Number 10 in Cormorant Pass. The outer outer reef! Thousands of metres deep just the other side of that reef. We knew it wouldn't be perfect conditions - about 15 knots of SE wind and quite choppy. and the tides - springs - the greatest range, 2 metres. Philip decided to leave at 11am to get there just before slack low tide about 1pm so the current wouldn't be too bad and suck us out to sea while we were snorkelling.
We set out, quickly letting out 2 fishing lines, our silver spoon and Warren's special red and silver with white feathers. Warren's was taken as he was setting it but we never saw the monster as he broke the line. A pink lure with 2 3-prong hooks went down and we were rewarded with a Big Eye Tuna about halfway to the reef, which we slaughtered bloodily and filleted before we got there.
2 Marine Parks and about 3-4 other moorings at the Cod Hole itself, all close to the reef and no other boats. I was a bit apprehensive before we got in the water with about a metre of swell and waves breaking on our side of the reef from swell coming around the corner. (Naturally, the boat sat side on to the swell so we needed our stabilisers). But as soon as we were in the water from the swim platform I could see it was going to be wonderful. The water had a clarity to it I had never experienced before. It was like looking through air - not disappearing into blue. Only a little current and coming in by the time we were in the water.
The coral was pristine. All alive. Pastels - lavender, lemon yellows, pinks, autumn orange. Perfect unbroken plates, tiny hard staghorny ones, brain corals, very few clams, in walls with caves and columns. Truly gardens of coral. I have never seen anything like it. And of course, the fish. The only cod I saw was hiding under a coral plate right down deep. Wide vertical bands of grey with lighter grey spots.
Down low under a ledge a school of black white and yellow Many Lined Sweetlips from 2'-3' long all gathered together against a column of coral. Big Hump Headed Maori Wrasse and a Tiger (Footballer) Trout. And even a Mackerel about a metre long just motionless in the water. A school of ribbon type fish and some wierd blunt-headed silver fish about 18" long. Several good sized Coral Trout - all grey/blue colouring. (They are such a placid fish). And of course dozens of yellow Coral Fish types, some Unicorn Fish even one lonely Toad.
We snorkelled for a bit under one and a half hours without a break but by then it was past three pm and we really needed to get going.
I think we were all elated by what we had seen and experienced so close to the edge of the outer reef.
As we made our way into clear water we were doing 9 knots at 1050 RPM - 3 knots of current. Soon had the mackerel lines out again and caught a 1m Spanish on our spoon as we came across the paddock back to Lizard. More blood and guts filleting from the crew. Then back home to Watsons Bay and our old anchor spot.
We finished the day with a bottle of champagne and a beautiful sunset.
What a day! One never to be forgotten.
1 October - Trip to Waining Reef
Just the remnants of a 15-20 SE breeze so we decided on a visit to Waining Reef to see if we could catch a few Spangled Emperors where SV Wilson told us they could be found. The entrance between Parke and Waining is wide and easily visible. Luckily, because, with thick cloud, we weren't at all sure we'd be able to see anything. Fortunately the skies cleared just before we needed to see the reef. Navigation visually behind Waining is easy with a few bommies. Anchored in clear sand in 6m. No fishing action though. Caught a 65cm Shark Mackerel on the reel which we ate fried on the BBQ.
After a moderately successful fishing trip to Waining we returned to Lizard to find fewer than half the boats that were there when we left the day before. It has been light and variable all day - good for making southing in a sailing boat I guess.
As I filleted our fish from the swim platform a 6' pale gold shark and other White Tips joined the Trevally in gathering the fish scraps. The shark got the big carcass - took it in his mouth like a dog with a bone and slowly glided off.
A rest day today - and cleaning up. Scales EVERYWHERE. So calm this morning that we could see our resident Trevally school doing their work under the boat and Spangled Emperors swimming past. Hot and sticky. I snorkelled over to the small bommie nearby and found clouds of tiny fish, a small mackerel, a large unicorn fish munching weed off the coral and a large wrasse tucking in as well.
N-NW winds about 15kn all afternoon - not predicted. Now predicting a 20kn SE tomorrow. Think we'll get an early start for Cooktown. We're going to pick up our good friends, Leon and Helen, who are flying to Cairns and then taking the bus to Cooktown. Lizard Island and the surrounding waters are such a buzz we can't let them miss it.
Back to Cruise Log