Weather Protest!

We are in catch up mode, having spent days hidden at the Northern end of the Whitsundays out of internet service. So here is what we were up to last week.

It is supposed to be the tropical dry season, but we had a week of rain and strong wind! We spent a few days at Blue Pearl Bay all by ourselves, then when the swell became too uncomfortable and we had a short break in the weather, we moved to Maureen’s Cove, at the top of Hook Island for a few more days.

Blue Pearl Bay

We kept ourselves amused for the previous week with the odd snorkels, plenty of reading, watching movies and bread making in between rain showers. We could not really sail anywhere in this weather. And besides, we were still waiting for the anchor winch thingy to arrive from NZ!

Despite the very ordinary weather, we have a few underwater images to share with you. This time we won’t include the many fish we saw. Instead we are showing you three unusual critters and a photo of a unique experience for Sue.

Wade & Sue back from a snorkel

First there were the Nudibranches. Wade is fast becoming a specialist at finding these colourful slugs!  They are only small – a couple of inches – and hide under ledges.

Nudibranch Tricolor

Then there were the Christmas Tree Worms, showing their spirally gills. We have shown these to you before, but this time we spotted a veritable forest along a ledge in shallow water! It is hard to get a clear shot when the swell jostles you about and stirs the sand at the bottom! We kept coming back from our snorkels with fuzzy images but got our shot on the third visit to the little colony.

Christmas Tree Worm

Thirdly I found some Ctenophores, or Comb Jellies, floating around in mid water. These sometimes emit rainbow colored lights that travel along their combs but this one was just blobbing about, all lights off, which is a shame as with the overcast skies some bright lights would have come in handy!  Because of the transparent jelly substance it is made of, it is hard for the camera to focus on the critter rather than the surrounding reef! This one is reasonably clear.


And last but not least Sue swam with a huge old Turtle! We have seen many Green Sea Turtles while snorkeling together, but this would have to be the biggest one ever and it was the first time Sue had a chance to swim alongside one. If you look at the photo of its head, as well as the image that shows the carapace, it will give you a sense of the turtle’s size and age. It was at least 1.4m from head to tail, and about 80cm across.

Green Sea Turtle
Green Sea Turtle
Sue & the Turtle

There was a method to our madness: we wanted to head to the outer reef to show our friend Sue the coral gardens at Bait Reef once the wind dropped and the rain stopped. This is what we did on Wednesday 10 July and where we are for a few more days. But more on this in the next post!

13 thoughts on “Weather Protest!

  1. Nice to snorkel, even if it’s raining (like at Broughton Island). Where will you pick up the “anchor winch thingy”? Will you go back to Airlie?

    • Hi Leanne, no bleaching here, it is happening further north. What we have seen is some cyclone damage and especially damage from algae on the fringing reefs close to the mainland that comes from agricultural runoff.

  2. Looks a bit rough out there, certainly not for me. Loved Sue with the turtle and glad she’s getting some snorkling in. Sail well!

    • Not rough if you stay hidden like we do when it blows, Barbara. Plenty of snorkeling despite the weather and now that the sun has returned it’s even better!

  3. Great photos Captains. I have fond memories of Maureen’s Cove on a sea kayaking trip.

    Your photos remind be of Banjo Patterson poem “Clancy of the Overflow” comparing the office to the life in the bush:
    And the hurrying people taunt me
    And the palid faces haunt me
    As they shoulder one another
    In their rush and nervous haste

    But I somehow rather fancy
    That I like to change with Clancy (Chris and Wadie)
    Like to take a turn at Droving (Sailing)
    Where the seasons (Winds) come and ago

    While I face the round eternal
    Of the cash bood and the journal
    But I doubt they’d (Chris and Wade) suit the office
    Clancy of the Over Flow (Chris and Wadie on the go)

    When your weather is hard going, spare a thought for us poor barstools on the treadmills. 🙂

  4. That’s a lot of fun, your friend Sue must be delighted! Take care, Chris. 🙂

  5. Great stories and photos again guys ! Is the snorkel scenery likely to be any good in the Stonehaven Anchorage areas these days; I was able to do some there some years ago ?

    • Hi Doug, at the southern end it is passable and we did go there and showed a couple of images in the previous post, but we have found that the only areas worth going to are Blue Pearl Bay, the entrance to Butterfly Bay and at a push Chalkies. The rest has been ravaged by Cyclone Debbie. We have also seen deterioration compared to last year. Very sad.

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