After nearly a week of strong winds, we had a reprieve and a choice to make: climb the Cairn or head out to the outer reef. Gee that’s a bit tough… the reef won of course!
Sue had a couple of snorkeling practice runs at Luncheon Bay at the top of Hook Island and at Cataran Bay on Border Island, enough to get her itching for the real stuff. We headed out at dawn on 28 September from Dumbell Island.
This time we sailed a bit further and explored around Hook, Line and Hardy Reefs, seeing the very deep channel that runs between the three reefs. The naming of this group must have been done by the local fishermen: Bait, Barb, Line, Hook, Sinker, Hardy!
It is always a bit tricky to find a spot close to the reef wall and in between the bommies, yet not too deep, so we can just jump in the water from the back of the boat to go snorkeling.
We ended up anchoring for one night back at Hook Reef, not far from where we were last time, and picked up a public mooring at Bait Reef for a second night before the strong wind returned. This time the conditions were a bit stronger: 10 to 15 knots easterly. In this sort of breeze the snorkeling required a fair bit of energy – more chop, more current, but the visibility was excellent. We saw lots of little fish and interesting soft coral.
We had multiple dives. Sue was delighted to spot the little anemone fish, a few giant clams, plenty of fusiliers and parrotfish. But with a lot of current and chop, it was a relief to see the ladder at the back of Take It Easy!
We had a brisk sail back this sunday morning and were lucky enough to pick up one of the only two moorings at the northern tip of Whitsunday Island. Eggs and bacon for breaky then we are off to climb the Cairn! Mission doubly accomplished!