We can’t believe the day has finally come: we have made it to the Southern Reefs of the Capricorn & Bunker Group! So we invite you all to get infected… with the excitement of cruising the Reef rather than COVID!
After months of floating around doing not much, we have reached our happy place, and not only that, we have Murray & Maree on board who have never been to this part of the Great Barrier Reef.
Provisioning for the Reef
We have never really told you about boat provisioning, so let us explain a little about what is involved. We intend to be at the Reef for a few weeks with our guests. We have the routine down pat for when it is just the two of us and Bengie. But with four adults on board, and no opportunity to replenish the supplies in that time, stocking up is a major undertaking!
How do we organize ourselves? We typically make a two to three weeks menu (joint effort this time by Chris and Maree) and organize our food shop accordingly. You want fresh produce that will keep outside the fridge in a dark room such as root vegetables, onions, citrus fruit, apples, green tomatoes…, dry produce like lentils, chickpeas, beans…, tinned goods as back up, lots of spices and condiments, and then the refrigerated goods which somehow need to fit in the two fridges: cheese, ham, fresh meat, dairy, vegetables than need to be kept cold. The freezer is chock a block with meat and fish. And we must not forget the vino!
We start eating the fresh stuff, then supplement along the way with canned or frozen food. And of course we fish, we bake (bread, biscuits, cakes, pizzas), we make our own yoghurt and dips, we grow sprouts.
The challenge when there are four of us on board is space! The fridges and freezer are small, locker space is limited… Fitting everything in is quite an exercise.
A few dinghy trips are required to load it all on board. Three trips to the shops were needed this time: dry stuff first, then fresh fruit, vegies and deli produce, and lastly the grog. And the bonus: lots of exercise since the supermarket is a long way from the river where Anui was anchored!
Fun at Lady Musgrave
With a boat full of food and hearts full of hope, we left Burnett Heads on Tuesday bright and early, bound for Lady Musgrave, at the bottom of the chain of the Bunker Group. It was a Spinnaker passage with a light southerly on our tail.
With all public moorings taken we anchored close to the marine park markers. Murray and Maree were quick to jump in the water at the back of the boat for a look and see as soon as the pick was down. They snorkeled at the small bommie in front of the boat in the photo below – a nice way to get into the mood and refresh after the passage.
Our first full day was sunny with light conditions… perfect, especially since it is Murray and Maree’s first visit here. The night was stormy and windy, but calmness returned during the following days. With a large lagoon for good protection, a small sand cay for those wanting to stretch their legs, lots of interesting bommies for snorkeling, the promise of manta rays on the outside, and neighbouring reefs for day trips, we figured Lady Musgrave would keep us amused for a few days before needing to hop to a different reef. We are still there as we post this, having heaps of fun.
Here is a gallery showing a few underwater images…. feeling a bit rusty, but better shots will come. Click on the first image to view in full screen slide show.
We all enjoy the unpredictability of snorkeling and photographing underwater: fish, corals, patterns and colours appear. You don’t control what is going on. It becomes an endless discovery, fleeting moments… like a spell, you forget everything, except for what appears in front of you.
Stay tuned for more reef adventures.