May 14, 2012
While a lovely peaceful anchorage, a cloud cover stayed on Hinchinbrook Island while we were there, ensuring we didn’t see it at it’s best. Steve also had no luck with his fishing. After a few days, a short sail took us up to Goold Island. A picturesque spot, but still no fish.
From Goold Island we sailed up past the Family Islands to Dunk Island. This lovely island had been badly hit by cyclone Yasi last year. The jetty looked a bit of a mess and when we went ashore, we were amazed at the damage to the resort. Roofs had been peeled back and there was still debris lying around. There was a delightful little walkway leading around to another small bay, with amazing brightly coloured butterflies, fluttering around.
The following day we travelled out to Beaver Reef along with another yacht called ‘Fearless’. Jan and Norma and Brett are also travelling up to Indonesia this season. It was quite windy at the reef, but Steve went snorkelling with the others, while I was content to look at the fish from the dinghy. The underwater photos I am putting on here are courtesy of Brett from Fearless.
We returned to Dunk Island the next day, and we were happy to meet up with Gail and Brian on D’Ol Selene. They left NZ at the same time as us in 2010, and we hadn’t seen them since New Caledonia. Steve and I walked another track up a big hill. A nice gentle gradient made it a pleasant walk, and the view was wonderful. We could see all the way back to Hinchinbrook Island. That evening the crews from all the boats in the bay, met on the beach for a social evening. After watching the sun fade away, a bonfire was lit and we watched the Super Moon rise into the sky. It looked beautiful.
Leaving Dunk Island, we sailed up to Mourilyan Harbour for a night, so we could get the tide right the next morning to go up the Johnstone River to Innisfail. We went through the entrance 2 hours before high tide and got through with no problems. The 3nm trip up to Innisfail was lovely, There was no wind, and it was like travelling on a mirror. The reflections were awesome. Fearless, who were travelling ahead of us, tied up to a wall in town, and we rafted up to them. A great spot, beside a park, in the centre of town. We enjoyed wandering around town, admiring the lovely old buildings.
It would have been nice to stay another day, but we left on the morning tide, and sailed across to Flora Reef. This one did not look as inviting as Beaver Reef. Steve went in for a snorkel, but got out when a big shark did a circle around him. We decided that it might not be such a good place to spend the night, so left and sailed to Fitzroy Island, arriving at about 9pm. It is never much fun arriving in a new anchorage in the dark, and this was no exception. I was very relieved when we were all anchored and settled for the night.
It was amusing when we woke up the next morning to a loud speaker telling people to “wakey wakey” along with loud music. Looking around we saw a navy barge out from us, and the noise was coming from them. The anchorage itself was very uncomfortable with a big swell coming in but the island was nice. We did the walk up to the lighthouse. (Very steep in parts), wandered around the resort, had a bbq lunch with our Fearless friends, and went snorkelling. The water was not as clear here, but we still saw some nice fish, and Steve saw a turtle.
The next day we had a nice sail to Cairns, arriving before lunchtime. We will be leaving tomorrow for Low Isles.