Playing Explorers – Curlew & Digby Islands

Just when we thought we’d be in Mackay a week ago, a change of weather lead us to alter our plan and continue our island hopping explorations a little longer. We are taking you to two lovely islands: Curlew and Digby Islands, just northwest of the Percy’s.

Curlew & Digby

The appeal of both islands is that you can enjoy some scrambles up steep hills for beautiful views, exercise and internet coverage! Still no coral for snorkeling, but plenty to do with bush walks and beach combing.

Curlew Island

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Curlew Island is a handy destination with multiple anchorages for different wind directions. Just as well since we initially spend a couple of days sheltering from a SW blow, then leave for Digby Island, only to return to Curlew for a bout of northerly breeze!

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Northern anchorage at Curlew

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Views of Davidson Bay, and Bluff Island in the distance

While at Curlew, we have a visit from Asteroid, a trimaran whose owner Graeme and friend Neville have been following our adventures for a while. It is always nice to meet in person people who share our love of cruising!

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On our second visit to Curlew we end up in different bays to shelter from northerlies. We scavenge ashore, find a near new fishing lure, a crate for our dive gear and some floatsome to make a sign with our boat’s name for the Percy Island A frame hut on our return visit later this year.

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A Stone Curlew on Curlew Island!

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SW bay at Curlew


The views from SW bay


Scavenging for treasures!

Digby Island

Digby is an interesting spot with a sandy beach and a triangle of islets providing some extra protection. It is as if you were in a lagoon. We are particularly lucky to enjoy this anchorage in light conditions, as it is apparently diabolical when the wind is stronger and the swell builds up, probably made worse by the current flowing between the islands.

The views from the top are panoramic and we manage to get internet and phone coverage for a brief catch up with friends.

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Views towards Hull and Beverlac Islands

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Digby Anchorage

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We’ve got internet coverage – First time in two weeks!

As for the beach, it is a treasure trove for scavenging, since some poor trawler was wrecked there recently with all sorts of debris scattered along the rocks.

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Recently wrecked trawler

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Mid tide at Rigby Island

Bengie has mixed feelings about Digby Island… she took another dive from the dinghy. She has not learnt her lesson, either that or she likes to jump in for a swim!

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Soggy again! Not amused!

We made our way to Mackay on Friday 24 August, to replenish our supplies, do a few chores and be wallies at the showers while we are in the marina for two or three days. It is also a good opportunity to catch up with Mick and Lyn, owners of Medina, our previous catamaran!

21 thoughts on “Playing Explorers – Curlew & Digby Islands

  1. Great finds Wadie, it is always fun to go to Bunnings. Lovely part of the world. Poor Bengie, maybe you’re right and she is enjoying the sea. It could be that she is chasing little fish too

    • That beach was particularly good! Yes Bengie has got used to her morning walks and always looks intently at the water! She did not even make a sound, no crying, no growling, just a dirty look back on the boat!

  2. The views are simply fantastic! It’s a real paradise. I’d love to explore avery inch of the islands. Your photos are beautiful Chris. I also suspect that Bengie likes to dive in the water once in a while. 🙂

  3. Oh kitty no! 😻 the views are beautiful at this location! How are you receiving internet service from, being so far off shore?

    • We were only about 50nm out so if we get a clear view to the mainland from the top of a hill we get a signal! But we have to climb steep slopes – keeps us fit.

      • I am not familiar with WIFI in Australia, I assume it works the same as here in the States. To get that kind of range, you would need a large antenna and tower. I’m a licensed Ham Radio operator, hence the interest in the distances.

      • WIFI works the same way here, John. While among the islands we have patchy coverage on top of the hills but nothing in the anchorages where we have been.

        We have a Data aerial at the top of the mast, but when we are surrounded by mountains we can’t get a thing. We are investigating a Cell-Fi booster system which is supposed to amplify whatever signal we get. Some yachties have that and it makes quite a difference. It is a learning experience for us.

      • Thanks so much for the information! Top of the mast, perfect! I have read about the amplification systems you mention, good reviews. As a “Ham”, I would enjoy the challenge of capturing the signal. May add a Beam, or directional antenna.

  4. Heading to my warm holiday now-Dubai-next stop Casablanca. Hope it’s as lovely as where you are

  5. I enjoy your comments on the various anchorages! We may use some of them. We board ‘Baruch’ at Hammo about 4pm next Monday and head off eventually to Southport. Hope to catch up with you next week.

    • Hi Doug – we are hoping to leave Mackay on Monday 27th, headed for St Bees and Keswick Islands. Northerlies forecast for 4 or 5 days from Tuesday so we’ll be there for a while, hopefully snorkeling!

  6. Hi Wade & Christine, We have now finished our Whitsundays cruise & are back in Brisbane. Great going to windward at 100kph for the last 2 days! Continuing to enjoy your fantastic posts. Thanks for your hospitality and safe travels. Graham on Asteroid

    • Hi Graham – Are you cheating? The joys of trailer sailors! Did you enjoy the Percy’s? What was the lagoon like?
      Nice to have met you. Have fun!

      • Enjoyed the Percys more than the Whitsundays, because of its isolation and lack of boats. Spent a week in the lagoon. Perfect shelter & great to explore the island from. Climbed to Mt Armitage 3 times. Magic views. Planning next years trip!

      • Agreed! The Whitsundays are crowded and we won’t spend much time there in the next season. Great you spent time comfortably in the lagoon. We loved the Keppels too and will linger there on our way south.

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