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