Hiding from strong winds

Just on schedule, as soon as our friend Sue arrived on board, the SE came up with a vengeance and we have been hiding ever since,  patiently waiting for the wind to ease!

We sheltered in Woodwark Bay, north of Airlie Beach for a while, fishing and beach walks being the main occupation. A few breams and a school shark fed us for days!

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Sheltering at Woodwark Bay

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Agitated sea on the Airlie Beach side!

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Cleaning and filleting fish on the sugarscoops!

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Fish cleaning attracts the seagulls – a good photo opportunity!

We were all keen on a snorkel. A brisk sail to Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island blew the cobwebs away and we were rewarded with a very nice snorkel. Although the reef is in poor condition with a lot of storm damage, the fish life is abundant, especially all sorts of parrotfish which are vital for reef recovery. You can hear them munching on the coral, and while they are busy doing this, you can get quite close to them. One was particularly fun to watch as it would stand vertically, letting the cleaner fish do they work on its tail and cheeks! So although not as vibrant as the outer reef, it was still enjoyable.


Schelgel’s Parrotfish


Sixband Angelfish


Steephead Parrotfish


The Scissortail in the centre gatecrashed my shot of the Blue-lined Rabbitfish!


Blue-lined Rabbitfish


Beaked Coralfish


Stunning Highfin Parrotfish letting the cleaner fish do their work!

The underwater images were taken with the Olympus TG5 camera. My TG4 gave up the ghost after a few years of abuse when we came back from the reef. Disaster… I can’t be without an underwater camera! But Mackay Camera House came to the rescue and posted the updated model overnight to Airlie’s post office! We were impressed with the service and are very pleased with the camera. The autofocus works quickly and the camera delivers lively and vibrant shots even in low light. Shooting in raw format rather than jpeg also helps with fine-tuning the images back on board with the Lightroom software.

Back on dry land, we said hello to the four Ospreys on Black Island, spent a night at Stonehaven and are now off to the Cairn, a walk at the northern end of Whitsunday Island. More on that later!

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Sue fossicking for Cowrie shells at Black Island

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Looking towards Stonehaven anchorage from Black Island

We are keeping our fingers crossed that the wind will abate enough to let us return to the Outer Reef. But in the meantime we are having fun.

16 thoughts on “Hiding from strong winds

    • Thanks for saying hello Annie – you have experienced a few delights yourself in the past few weeks. Will call when we get phone service! 💕⛵️

    • Hi Mick, I was already a convert with the previous model and the TG5 is improved. These compact cameras can take a beating. Not the cheapest but for wet, very cold or dusty conditions, for active sports, etc… they do a good job. Landscapes are not the best, but for macros and underwater they are brilliant. They don’t fog up with sudden changes of temperature such as going from a hot cockpit on the boat to underwater…or warm pocket to snow when skiing. They are the only compact to shoot in raw too which is important to me to develop the shots as I want in post processing.

  1. Great pics as always. The depth of colour in your underwater shots is amazing. I’d be pleased with the new camera too. Still has a lot to do with the photographer though. Well done !

    • Oh that is very kind of you Caroline. It takes a bit of practice to get comfortable and steady, but so beautiful down there! We are back at the outer reef today so more fish and coral photos coming up!

  2. Good info re your upgrade to the TG5. I’m using a TG4. Just had it serviced for over $100 which you need to do for longevity, but probably not worth spending too much on it. Good to know the TG5 is an improvement … when I do upgrade! We have been waiting for outer reef weather too. Not to be. Arghhh!!

    • Hi Amanda – we are going to make you jealous now. We are at Hook Reef, after doing the grand tour of Line and the opposite side of Hook to where we were anchored last time. Looking good for a couple of days!

  3. Great photos Chris! The reef’s fish are so colorful. I’m just back from our vacation trip, we had a great time at the beach. Take care my friend! 🙂

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