A glaring of cats offshore

We were desperate to get offshore and have joined forces with two other catamaran cruising teams who are like minded. Time to have some fun at the Reef!

It is amusing how things go. The three catamarans have just come off a shipyard after extended time fixing things. So all of us were itching to go: our dear friends Tam, Dee and kids on Oceaneer, a Voyage 500, Glenn, Karen and kids on Clair de Lune, a 46 Fountaine Pajot, who we met at Mackay and us on Anui.

We all love the Reef, are keen explorers and have decided to cruise together for a while. A glaring, that is one of the collective names for a group of cats… quite apt as we will be glaring at anybody else trying to muscle in on our spots! None of us play well in large groups, so that’s as big a team as we want for this Reef wander.

We are spending some time along the outer reef, exploring places none of us have ever been to before offshore of Mackay and the Whitsundays. Now that’s what exploring is about! After such a long phase of boat maintenance, it is just unbelievably exciting to be doing this at last, away from coastal cruising crowds, checking out what is out there: fishing, snorkeling, diving, playing, photographing, relishing our renewed freedom and each other’s company.

The three cats at Credlin Reef

We did some serious research before we left. Chris spent hours looking at satellite images, downloading promising ones, saving waypoints, speaking to a few locals to get their recommendations, mapping out a rough itinerary and sharing the information with the Glaring of Cats. This is an overview of one of the regions we are targetting.

Inner & Outer Reef lines offshore of Mackay

The boats are fully provisioned for a few weeks out there, but the weather is king and a week after starting our explorations we have had to come back to shelter closer inshore. We have been between 60 and 100nm offshore, starting with the inner reefs and quickly jumping to the outer reef line where the coral is healthy and fish life abundant. Here is a sample of our surroundings – very therapeutic!

One of the stunning lagoons on the outer reef line
The team on a tiny coral cay

We will resume our outer reef explorations once the weather settles. For now we are sheltered at Scawfell Island with no internet!

19 thoughts on “A glaring of cats offshore

  1. Wow, such beautiful photos! It’s great that you’ve got out of port after all the hassles. Be safe and well, guys! 😎🇦🇺

  2. Beautiful! So glad you are finally enjoying yourself. We were actually due in to Mackay Marina on Monday but the predictions have changed and if the weather stays as predicted now, we wont be in the marina for around a week! We are at Curlew on our lonesome up one end but bracing ourselves for the dozen boats making their way here today! Have fun it out there, it looks fabulous!

    • Hi Trish, that same weather has been forcing us back inshore! Floating around outside Scawfell for internet and phone coverage! Curlew is nice…Enjoy!

      • Thanks. Chris. If the wind dies down we will venture ashore. That dozen or so boats has just arrived – we are surrounded!

  3. Just enjoy yourselves out there……wer’e put into stage 6 lockdown as of 8pm last night for another week when we were expecting some release. Victoria, that is ! We continue to have your fun vicariously.
    Nice pics as usual Chris !

    • Hi Doug. Sad to hear of the lockdown. We had a beautiful week out at the Reef but the weather is looking too strong now for a week to 10 days, so we are back inshore!

  4. Good on you! Will enjoy your upcoming posts Anui. We are one of the many boats Sengo referred to arriving at Curlew today. Might see you at Scawfell in the next few days.

    • Hi Amanda, LOL 😂. Well you won’t see us at Scawfell cos we’ve just anchored at Brampton – internet here! We are going back to Mackay on Thursday to get siphons installed, a new port engine control and our first service done then we are really free to go!

  5. From a small assembly of spectators (is that the correct collective noun?) ….. we are once again in envy of your tropical reef exploits! Good to see your shiny renovated boat going well …..

    • It has been such a relief and much needed injection of joyful time! Back to Mackay next week for the first service and siphons to be installed, but only for two days!

  6. I love the shot of the three catamarans at the reef, Chris, and enjoyed learning a new collective noun for cats. It is such a joy to do things with like-minded folks. I too prefer small groups or going solo to larger groups and deliberately avoid some places when photographing wildlife because I know they will be crowded. Your colorful underwater shots are amazing–the colors are so bright and vivid.

    • Hi Mike – going solo when we are coastal cruising is the norm, but rarely achieved in an anchorage these days. However when going a long way offshore for reef explorations we prefer to go with one or two other boats. It is a safety measure as well as a social thing.
      The clarity underwater is the advantage of being 100nm offshore and on a calm day. No particles floating around, no sediment. You get vibrant colours on a sunny day. On overcast days everything looks grey. We had it all working for us for a week!

  7. Wow, just a stunning post. Enjoy. I have leap frogged past you and am reprovisioning at Airlie

  8. I love the glaring of cats, so appropriate too. Di was just here for more medical reasons together with her cat, who not only glares at me but at Pepa as well. Enjoy

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