Made it to the Reef!

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!

One of three provisioning trips

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.

Dawn start, full of promise
Lady Musgrave is the first reef in the group
Maree & Murray as we near the Reef
Arrival at the narrow entrance to the Lady Musgrave Lagoon between the red and green markers

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.

Anchored close to the coral cay

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.

Lady Musgrave island at the north western end of the reef
The fleet of moored boats as seen up high from the island
Spectacular sunset
Return to Anui after snorkeling

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.

22 thoughts on “Made it to the Reef!

  1. So many beautiful photos, wow! I’m glad that you’ve made the passage safely. And yay for channel markers too. Have fun in your paradise, guys! 😎🇦🇺

  2. Enjoy the time there. You certainly have done the waiting. Asteroid is getting a Coppercoat bottom

  3. Green with envy 🙂

    For provisioning for long camping or sailing trips, I make up a spreadsheet with days/meals then ingredients, just so we don’t end up with too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the expensive stuff.

    It’s surprising how many tins of baked beans you don’t need.

  4. Beautiful although tempered by feelings of what I should have seen if the weather hadn’t intervened. Enjoy your dream life.

  5. Gorgeous pictures, Chris! Being with company and near the Reef, this is what you were waiting for so, enjoy every minute of it. 🙂

  6. *huge smile* Understand your provisioning very well even tho’ a landlubber ! Living in the country have found it most practical to buy everything on line every four weeks . . . exactly the way you do . . . and if one forgets the paprika or cannelini beans one just has to cook around it . . . Beautiful weather . . . hope it continues . . . . . .

  7. Loved the photos, no turtles yet? brings back memories of a lovely time with you two. Enjoy your family and the journey to new reefs

  8. What an assortment of colorful images, Chris. Wow. I can’t decide which ones I like best, the overhead shots of the underwater ones–fortunately I don’t have to choose and can enjoy them all. Enjoy your fun and relaxation (to the extent you can kick back, because I know there are always chores that have to be done). 🙂

    • Hi Mike – fortunately not many chores and a lot of fun and experimentation. Glad you like the collection. It is hard to choose the shortlist for the post as we take lots of shots both above and under the surface. At least people get a feel for our extraordinary surroundings.

  9. I’m just drooling 🤤.
    Fabulous photos. I envisage a few more boat dollars being spent before I depart.
    See you soon. 😎

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