How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sail to Low Isles

leaving Yorkeys at sunrise
Thursday 27th Sept – Low Isles
We left Yorkeys Knob in Cairn at 0730hs to motor sail, mostly motor to Low Isles, 30n/m up the coast, passing Double Island as we leave.
Double Island
MrJ put the trolling line out while I start to get breakfast. Around 0750hs we hook a big fish that gets away just as MrJ has it to the bottom of the step. The fish was a real fighter and just shoot the lure out so hard that the lure ended up on top of the bimini.
MrJ fights the big fish

the silly fish gets away 

Oh well! MrJ puts the line out again and we go back to the daily life of breakfast.
the populated coastline north of Yorkeys
 0915hs the trolling line is hit again and this time it does not get away. MrJ reels in a 60cm tuna mackerel, another good fish that we can get a few meals out of.

Tuna Mackerel

the one that didn't get away
The seas are a bit lumpy with a small easterly swell and slight southerly winds. I can see ships passing on the horizon.

We arrive at Low Island at 1130hs and take up a public mooring.
After taking up a public mooring buoy and before getting a chance to settle in we were greeted by the resident Bat Fish and Black Tip Reef Shark. The Reef Shark had his mates tagging along - the Sucker Fish. I through a couple of small lumps of bread out to the bat fish and the sucker fish dart in to grab first while their ride, the shark, keeps circling. Reef sharks are harmless but I still don’t go in for a swim!

Low Isles - Low Isles is an inner patch reef, a large oval 200 hectare coral platform, 15 km north-east of Port Douglas. It is composed of a small coral cay (Low Island) and a larger mangrove island (Woody Island) Island is uninhabited except for a wealth of bird species - a vital habitat, all growing on top of senile coral reef. It has ecological importance due to the coexistence of a number of fully developed marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The combination of coral cay and mangrove island type is unique to the Great Barrier Reef. The hook like shape, which provides a sheltered lagoon, is also an excellent refuge and an ideal feeding ground for a large population of adolescent turtles. Living amongst the corals in the blue lagoon are a large variety of reef fish including angelfish, damselfish, anemones, giant trevally, sweetlip, fusilers and many green turtles.

Low Isles is an important indigenous cultural site for both the KuKu Yalanji and Yirraganydji aboriginal tribes. The sea country of both groups overlaps at Low Isles.

The English explorer, Captain James Cook, recorded the existence of these islands in 1770 during his voyage of discovery to Australia. He described Low Island as “a small low island”. It was officially named Low Isles in 1819.
A lighthouse was built on the coral cay in 1878. It was the tenth commissioned by the Queensland Government to help create the longest shipping lane in the world. There was a continuous presence of lighthouse keepers on Low isles up until 1993, when the lighthouse became automated.

Weather data has been collected on Low Isles since 1887 and scientific associations date back to 1928 when it was the base for a yearlong scientific survey which studied the structure and ecology of the surrounding reef. This was the first detailed scientific study of a coral reef anywhere in the world.

MrJ and I leave Low Isles early the next morning to sail to Cooktown.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

My Week in Yorkeys Knob Cairns in Pictures

Yorkeys Knob
My Week in Yorkeys Knob Cairns in Pictures
Thursday 20th – Wednesday 26th September 2012  
This is our week in Cairns and/or Yorkeys Knob through my photography.
I need to get up to date with my blog.

sailing into Cairns

Thursday: left Fitzroy Island at 0720hs
the welcoming committee
and arrived at the Half moon Bay Marina Yorkeys Knob (16’48.131S – 145’42.928S) at 1040hs.

our first visitor
This could be the Dainty Swallowtail common in Far North Queensland
our first morning in the marina
MrJ eats his breakfast in a hurry as he has a lot of work to do.
fixing the pump
fixing one of the heads

I went for an early morning walk over to Yorkeys Beach
there were other people doing the same
Yorkeys Beach
Yorkeys Knob
the lifesaver goes round & round
and there is a real lifesaver
the walk home
our friend Kelly took us to the Rusty's Markets
met an old busker
we are a multi-cultural society
and then we went to the meat market
view from Kelly's back deck
in Kelly's deck garden
early Saturday I walked up Yorkeys Knob
the steep hill
alls quiet at the Boating Club
fishing boats have started their day
and then I walk over to the little beach near the boat ramp
one has already gone out
others are getting ready
the fellers have just arrived
more and more take to the water

out to sea they go
the girls challenge the waves
I lay on the sand and watch
as they paddle
in the morning's light
day has broken
and the paddlers have all gone
leaving me and me mate on the sand

back at the boat ramp the action is happening
cars and trailors are lined up for miles
there is movement in the marina
and a plane goes over
some one has found a quiet spot to fish
and so life goes on
I head back to the boat to get on with my day to day chores.

MrJ and I drive into Cairns
in a little car that we have hired
we buy a portable airconditioner for the boat
on the way to the store we see the hinterland train 
Cairns may have the feel of a large country town but it is still a city
I love to see the natural life
but you can keep all that dust
give me the tranquility of water any day

up early again
some people are sleeping on the beach
and then the morning begins
I find another friend
into the sea he goes
and loves to play
and brings back the stick - what fun......!
some one else is watching the new day
while some one is still sleeping
on the walk home I find an old building
a Kookaburra in a tree
and the creek by the marina

time for a shower - good way to disguise the shower block with lots of plants

and see another Koockaburra
MrJ and I go into town (Cairns) again
visit all the likely boating supply stores
this is where we had to get the new sparkplugs for the Honda generator
we take a walk along the esplanade
check out the low tide
check out the lagoon pool
and the park - love the big old fig tree, they make such wonderful shade
lunch at a diner
one more look at the baots anchored out the front of Trinity Inlet

more photos downtown

get to the bottle shop just in time for a emergency evacuation

and then off to the Chemist for our medical supplies 

now it is time for home and to unpack the grocies
That evening we have dinner and catch up with my dear friend Trish and her daughter Cortney.

Cortney - sweet girl she is
my dear friend Trish who I have known since primary schoool - good old Tempe days - so long agao
0600hs and all is well
I take an early morning walk up to the Post Box to post off some birthday card for October; goodness know when we will be near any post box till we get to Darwin.
saw another Koockaburra - or maybe it is the same one?
someone lost their shoes - must be getting desperate for photo material

and the planes keep going over
I get back to spent most of the day trapping back and forth to the marina laundry - washing and cleaning day.
the swallow have made a home on the boat next door
the waterway out my back door
sunset across the waterway
That night MrJ and I have dinner out again - such a social life we lead - not! We catch up with good friends Billy and Lynette.
always has a smile our Billy
cheerful as ever is Lynette
and my dear happy chappy who has to be the main character in a lot of my photos
The next morning MrJ and I sail AR away from Yorkeys Knob, sail for Low Isles twenty something n/miles away.
ps. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm....! this posting was huge with graphics -  maybe I should not be taking so many photos next time - I did say maybe........!! ;o)))