Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef lies about 30 nautical miles off shore, and there are not many all-weather anchorages. The main one we have used several times has been Lady Musgrave Island, which has a large lagoon with a boat entrance.

Leaving 1770 on Sunday, the weather was extremely calm, with a forecast of trivial winds for the next few days. Not good for sailing, but a great time to check out some of the reefs which might be uncomfortable in more normal conditions.

Leaving 1770

So first to Fitzroy Reef, a spectacular coral lagoon with no island. It was glassy, like being in a huge swimming pool way out in the ocean.

We did some diving, with the 12 volt Divemaster airpump following in the kayak, and George went for a paddle. You can get the feeling here.

Lovely sunset.

Then on to North-West Island, via Heron Island. NW Island has a large lagoon, but no boat entrance. We went ashore and later did another dive. Stunning fish life. The Divemaster lets me go down to about 10 metres, without the need for compressors, tanks, BCDs etc.

Now back to Great Keppel Island and Rosslyn Bay for reprovisioning, before we hit the wilderness between here and Mackay.

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