Some anchorages on our way north are stand outs: peaceful, scenic, varied. Broughton Island is one of these. There is a lot to see, with sandy beaches, rugged coves, shorebirds, snorkeling, so you are in for a treat this week as we focus on this lovely island hideaway!
With southeast forecast for a few days, we headed for the northern side of the island and tied to the public mooring at Providence Beach. Later in the day four other boats arrived. They only stayed overnight, but we were keen to stay longer.
As you can see, we flew the drone soon after arriving, knowing that the favourable weather was not going to last. Strong wind and some rain were forecast for the evening and the next days, so it was then or not at all. Drone photography is captivating. You keep wondering what you will discover from up high. Familiar anchorages look so different and breathtaking from the sky, but the weather conditions and flight regulations often restrict what we can do. And nerves do get in the way too… flying the drone from the boat is never a relaxed activity!
We had the most spectacular sunset on the first evening, when the storm clouds were building. The next days were vastly different: overcast, intermittent rain, ESE winds rather than the forecast SE, which meant we were lying along the beach in choppy water – not very comfortable!
Tour of the island
To better show what the different coves on the island look like from above and from land, we have put their names on a copy of our aerial panoramic image.
During the next few days, we shared our beach walks with tiny red-capped dotterels. They are funny to watch, scurrying along the sand with their little legs going at lightening speed. The sooty oystercatchers were quite striking too. Here is a slide show of our feathered friends.
And of course, we could not be at Broughton Island for a few days and not go snorkeling. The water was relatively warm: 200C. We had hoped to snorkel on the southern side of the island, at Coal Shaft Bay and Split Rock to check out the docile and graceful grey nurse sharks but the conditions did not allow. With poor visibility, swell and low light, there was little chance of seeing a great deal so we just explored the small reefs next to the boat.
We saw quite a few fish, including a banded wobbegong, a big flathead and a few ludericks, but what caught our eye the most was the colours and textures of the kelp and seaweed covering the rocks and swaying in the current. It was worth the effort, even in the dull light and choppy water.
We left Broughton Island last Sunday and sailed to Port Macquarie where we are catching up with friends and waiting for the next bout of southerlies. More on this in our next post.