After spending 5 days weathering a blow at Low Isles, we were keen to move on! Although it was still a bit windy, we decided to sail to Double Island, 20 miles southeast for a change of scenery. Only one problem, it was dead upwind of us. We thought: “we are in no hurry, let’s not motor there and try tacking”. Now anyone who knows us realises we don’t do tacking. Well after spending six hours doing six tacks in 18 knots of headwind to cover the distance, our dislike for tacking is confirmed! So many miles, so much effort for so little progress!
We spent two nights at Double Island. As soon as the wind eased we were off to revisit Michaelmas Cay and check out Upolu Cay. We love Michaelmas with its bird rookery and great shelter. The cay is at the edge of Michaelmas Reef which itself is located inside Arlington Reef – a reef within a reef – so you can sit in 18 knots of wind in relative comfort.
We went ashore to visit the birdies after the tour boats and tourist crowds were gone. Here is a gallery. As usual, click on the first image to display in full screen slide show and to see the captions.
We had a snorkel. I went searching for Nemo’s family which I had found last time, but could not locate them. However here are a few other finds.
We made water to top up our tanks then moved to Upolu Cay. Now this is a shy little sand cay! In 2011 Cyclone Yasi blew its top right off and since then it only makes an appearance at very low tide. In fact although we enjoyed the magnificent graduations of colour, we waited and waited, but the elusive cay did not dry out. You could see the sand underwater and walk on it in knee deep water but what is there is a sand bank rather than a sand cay! So no aerial photo to show you, since I am not game enough to launch the drone from the boat yet… well actually land it on Anui!
Now for a change of mood. We have to get something off our chest. Are you ready?
What is it with people who turn up in an anchorage, drop their pick right in front of your boat when there is plenty of space elsewhere, start dragging AND don’t turn on their anchor light at night? And what about those that pick up a mooring which happens to be right in front of your own boat but is far too small for the size of their vessel AND don’t turn on their all round white light at night? Grrh! These cruisers should get hit by another boat in the night. Maybe, just maybe they’d get the message their practices are dangerous as well as illegal! Whinge over – thanks for listening.
We are now back in Cairns for re-provisioning and we pick up Murray and Maree later today then are starting our trek south. They will be with us for two weeks. Let’s hope we don’t have to tack all the way to the Whitsundays!