Monday, November 28, 2011

into the marina today

 looking back towards the entrance to the creek to the marina
 looking up the creek towards the marina
 more as we are coming into marina
The marina where we are staying for the next 5 months.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

last day/night of 2011 cruising season

We spent the night at Vlasoff reef for 2 nights. We got in for a snorkel this afternoon after the tide dropped a little. Each reef is different this one had some amazing corals, but not so much fish especially big fish. This reef is not a green zone meaning it can be fished on. After our snorkel we took the dingy to the beach and just as we were coming to shore there was a huge shark! It had to have been 10 ft long as it was longer then our dingy. There was a couple on shore with their 2 children, and they were just about to go into the water when they spotted this shark. From what we saw it was a bronze whaler which are known to be aggressive. Before we got in the water we drove by the sand cay and there were a couple of fishing boats anchored there, well apparently one of them tossed some fish heads into the water. What were they thinking or were they thinking with children playing right next to them, and snorkelers not far away (us). The shark came so far in to the beach to try and get the fish heads that it grounded itself, so we were told.
Well this is our last night out in the 2011 cruising season. We go into the marina tomorrow. This is quite different for us as we usually continue on south for the cyclone season. This year we are marina bound with our car and plan to do a bit of travelling by road, and getting to know the area as it has come to the top of the list for an area to settle in once we are ready to settle.
Our list has been started on the things we want to get done this summer to make ready fro a big trip around to the Kimberlies for next cruising season.
 Jelly fish are here see this one above, and I saw 2 more like it. Mind you its the ones you don't see that are the most dangerous here.
 Big tall coral heads with an assortment of corals.
 Us in our new skinny version!
 The new moon with a planet the photo doesn't do it justice, but it was beautiful to see!
Some of the things we're looking forward to : washing the boat inside and out with lot's of fresh water, skinny latte, hot water wash for laundry, & getting ready for a trip to visit some of our girls, and Uncle.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Snorkel on Lowe Isles

We had a snorkel around the western side of Lowe Isles with Rick & Alex from Roxanne. It was a good snorkel and we saw quite a few turtles!! I love watching them, and a couple were swimming along watching us!! We are moving on tomorrow to some more outer reef, so I hope to have a few more photos.  Check out these from today. I'll try and post a video of a turtle swimming.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lowe Isles

We arrived into Lowe Isles this afternoon. We had some shipping and a squall to contend with on the way, but all is well. Most of the other boats that have arrived here today were at Lizard Island with us. We will be here for another night as the winds are scheduled to pick up tomorrow. We are going for a snorkel tomorrow with Rick & Alex who were the care takers here for a while and a tour of the island if time permits. I should have more photos tomorrow. Heather could you show the turtle video to the boys for me. let me know what they thought of it. Thanks

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Undine reef to ourselves

 This giant clam has a coral garden growing on it.
 a cute little yellow box fish
 A huge Manta Ray which came by us twice while we were snorkelling.
 A cute clown fish
Beautiful coral garden
 Us enjoying the solitude of a reef anchorage.
This morning was a grey rainy day as we left Hope Island. Looking at radar the rain didn't look to widely spread. We didn't have far to go to reach Mackay reef. We had Vaya Con Dios in company when we left. As we motored in the calm winds and rainy weather I worked on some of my studies. Bruce put a fishing line out when we reached fishing grounds, and we enjoyed the trip. As we were making our way we had a radio call from Vaya Con Dios saying they caught a fish, and had also lost all their tank water into their bilge. Ok well we have plenty of water on board we can organise something when we get to Mackay reef. A few minutes later they radioed to say they were going to continue on to Lowe Isle because it wasn't good snorkelling weather. We said we might be behind you, but we will go and check out the reef while we are here. When we got to Mackay reef the skies were dark and rain was falling. On our approach we were having a hard time reading the water, and decided we shouldn't go in. Bruce replotted the course along the reef in case the sun decided to come out again as the clouds look to be thinning out. Sure enough we travelled just south of Mackay to Undine reef and the sun started to shine so in we went, and here we sit. It turned out to be a beautiful day & night! We had some fantastic snorkelling and a very relaxing time enjoying an anchorage to ourselves which we haven't had for quite sometime!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Break in the weather

 last walk on Lizard Island before we sailed off I wanted to check out the treasure chest at the camp grounds.
This is the chest that was inside the above barrel.
 The loot inside the above chest.
 The book for visiting pirates and sailors to sign, which we did.
 the walk across the flat land, back to the dingy on the beach for a refreshing swim
 This mornings sunrise after leaving the anchorage at Watson's Bay
We had a break in the weather with lighter ESE predicted for a few days, so we left Lizard Island this morning. At sundowners last night the whole anchorage was on the beach, and there were about 22 boats anchored. Almost half of them were leaving today. We thought we might go down the ribbon reefs, but decided instead to head down south of Cooktown and explore the reefs from there to Cairns. We made it as far as Hope Island today which was about 69 nm run. The first half was a great sail to just north of Cooktown, then the winds went more to the south and became lighter. We ended up motor sailing then motoring the rest of the way. It still was a beautiful day on the water!
We have met up with Rozzie & Wayne on Vaya Con Dios and plan on doing some of the reefs off of herre for the next few days while we have good weather. More photos to come soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another 2 outstanding snorkels!

We snorkelled yesterday at Turtle Bay and it was magic. Rozzie spotted a juvenile harlequin sweetlip, but my camera battery was too low to take any more photos. We had a great time with Rick, Alex, Lynda, Rozzie, & Wayne. We are all getting ready to move on in the next few days as we have a weather window coming, so we are making the most of our time here.

Today we went and snorkelled the ledge at mermaid cove. Outstanding we saw a huge Humphead parrot fish, and a huge Maroi Wrasse along with heaps of other fish. Today we had Rozzie, Wayne, Phil, Lynda, Collin & Ali with us. It was a really good snorkel, and I still had some charge in my battery, so I wanted to try and find the juvenile sweetlip at Turtle Bay. Bruce found it and while I was trying to get its photo Wayne spotted a juvenile Barramundi cod within 5 feet of the juvenile sweetlip. TREASURE!!!
I spent the next 20 to 30 minutes trying to get good photos of these two fish. Not an easy task, as you can see below, but I did manage to get a few good ones. Check them out:
 Saw this on the way out to look for the juvenile sweetlip Mooray Eel
 here is the juvenile sweetlip
 a snap shot of it again on the side
 from up above
 Barramundi cod (juvenile) playing hide & seek with me
 My prize photo of the day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2nd night snorkel and more coral spawning

 The group we've been snorkelling with the last few days
 Coral spawning

It has been such  good experience snorkelling at night here in Watson's Bay! One that we will remember for a long time. Made even more special was the people we shared it with! Rozzie, and Wayne some folks we have recently met that we now consider very good friends. We look forward to sharing more experiences with them as time goes by! Also with us was Lynda, & Phil from Duet II, Colin & Ali from Indigo, and Rick & Alex from Roxanne. Rick was such a big part of our experience as he has worked very closely with marine biologist when they were care takers on Lowe Isles for the past 10 yrs. We actually did 2 snorkels yesterday! We bashed our way across the swells in the Blue Lagoon towards the beach on South Island. Where we put up the dingies, and swam out to the reef from there as it was too rough to anchor the dingies out. It was a magic snorkel with the colours alive on the reef and water clarity was outstanding! My camera didn't work during the day, its on its last days so no photos there to share. We feel so blessed to have experienced one of natures wonders!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our first ever night snorkel

We met on the beach last night with 8 other people to venture into the waters to snorkel the reef at night.
The reason for the night dive is because the coral is spawning. Usually the coral only spawns once a year, but sometimes it is a spilt spawn where some spawn in November, and some in December. The coral need the right conditions to spawn, water temp at 26 to 27 degrees C, & 3 to 5 nights after the full moon.
 Coral spawning
 Look at how many wormy things are swimming around. One stung me on the cheek.
 blurry prawn
Some of the group

We were lucky enough to see some of the coral spawn on the brain coral types. We also got to see a lot of different sea life during the dark dive. We saw an octopus, an epilette shark, a lemon shark, some prawns, and lots of little sea life in the beam of our torch. There were also lots of these wormy things swimming around. Check out the photos. Not many came out and these few are a bit blurry but worth a look.
We enjoyed it so much we are all meeting again tonight for another night snorkel. I will hopefully get some more good shots tonight.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 setting a goal with Dru Yoga

Well I finally did it! I taught a yoga class on the beautiful beach here at Lizard Island! Thanks to many supportive people here I had 13 come for a class today. We all had so much fun we may do it again next Friday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We had two more really good snorkels over in the Blue Lagoon yesterday & today. It was a bit rough, but we just rose and fell with the waves. There were quite a lot of fish, and many beautiful corals! Next week the corals will be spawning, which takes place 4 or 5 days after the full moon at night. The full moon is tomorrow night, and the water temperature is right, so we just have to be there at the right time. In the anchorage with us is Rick who is the care taker of Lowe Isles marine park and he wants to get a group together to watch the spawning. We will be int hat for sure. I hope my camera lasts that long. Each time I come back from a dive I thank my camera for the good job it has done for me.

Now for a different sort of news. I will be teaching a yoga class tomorrow on the beach. I thought it being 11/11/11it is a pretty good time to set an intention or goal to reach. I may have a few pics to share. In the mean time enjoy these.