Starting South

It is so nice to have family with us on Anui. After weeks of cruising by ourselves, we were itching for some company. Murray, Wade’s brother and his wife Maree joined us in Cairns on 20 September, a big change in weather and temperature for our Melbournians! We are starting our trek south, despite the fact the northerly winds haven’t arrived yet… intending to do giant tacks between the coast and the reef!

We left Cairns as soon as Murray and Maree were settled on board and spent the night at Palm Cove, just below Cape Grafton, then moved to Fitzroy Island at dawn the next day.

Dawn start towards Fitzroy Island

Despite the fairly strong conditions and very ordinary visibility, Fitzroy Island was the first opportunity to get in the water.

Murray getting ready to jump in!

The turtles were cooperative as were the Lagoon Triggerfish. The boys also went for a walk to the Summit afterwards, but the girls passed on the steep climb!

Lagoon Triggerfish

It was an action packed day on Sunday, with a snorkel in a couple of different spots, clearer water and a lovely meeting with turtles and anemonefish – Nemo in particular – then a nice sail to Sudbury Cay, just 8 or 9 miles offshore of Fitzroy Island.

Split shot in choppy water on the side of the island
Just like a cabbage!
Nemo! Eastern Clownfish in their beautiful mauve anemone
Orangefin Anemonefish

There is nothing quite like arriving at a coral cay – graduations of colour, bright little patch of sand in in the middle of the ocean, free public mooring to tie to, then a wet and wild ride in the dinghy to land on the cay and play castaway!

Sudbury Cay

Even though the wind was blowing at over 16 knots, the guys were keen to get in the water for a snorkel the next morning. So we hopped into the dinghy and anchored in a sand patch near the shallow reef. The water was not as clear as we would have liked, but it was definitely better that on the fringing reefs and Murray and Maree loved it, staying in the longest of all of us! Here are just a few underwater images:

Cowries with their mantle exposed
Encrusting Coral
Purple Sea Star
Little Blue Pullers among the Acropora Coral
Mix of hard and soft coral
Sudbury Cay from the water

One of the things we particularly like about sharing sailing adventures with friends and family is seeing what we do through their eyes. Having lived on board for now over two years, we are used to most things: the movement of the boat, the sights, the feeling as you sail, the freedom and the discoveries. It is wonderful to be reminded of how lucky we are to live this life, and best of all to experience the wonders of exploring the Great Barrier Reef on Anui with Murray and Maree.

From here, our intention is to cover 20 to 30 miles south each day by zig zagging our way between the reef and the coast to reach the Whitsundays by October 6. We want the descent to be leisurely, so we can enjoy the sailing and the sights wherever we stop and anchor for the night. It might be a walk around a small island, a snorkel at a reef with or without a cay, or just gazing at the views from our anchorage. Next hop: the Frankland Islands Group.

8 thoughts on “Starting South

    • Hi Leanne – that one was taken with the dome lens and underwater camera… a few water drops on the lens show on the photo, but it’s fun to try different things!

  1. Great time and new adventures to come. Enjoy it all. Loved your shots, varied and beautiful.

  2. That’s great! Enjoy your family and show them how fun is to live on a boat. All your photos are very good. Take care, Chris. 🙂

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