There is not a lot to do while we wait to be hauled out at Mackay. Yes still waiting, but changes are afoot! More on this in the next post. So let’s go back to a wild and beautiful little bit of heaven: Barren Island, one of the less frequented and more remote islands of the Keppel group. We were there a few weeks ago with family on board.
The Barren name describes what is above the water: a rugged prominent island with steep rocky slopes that plunge into the sea.
But donne the wetsuit, weights, fins and snorkel and you are in heaven: a magnificent coral garden, reminiscent of forest floors with mosses and carpets of leaves in their russet and green hues, unlike any other site we have visited.
We were blessed with good visibility despite less than ideal conditions in 20+ knots of wind and strong gusts that made the boat swing widely. We guess that the deeper water – we snorkeled down to 8 meters at low tide rather than just below the surface – has saved this reef from the terrible coral bleaching that has affected the Keppels and some of the offshore reefs. The distance from the mainland is another saving grace since Barren is the most easterly island of the Keppels. This time at Barren Island renewed our hope for reef resilience.