Thurs 23 May - Up to Dunk Island.
It was quite depressing to see the resort still mostly in ruins from cyclone Yasi Nov 2011, however the new jetty is almost complete - the first important step to reconstruction. Tide was way out and the beach and reef was not very inviting. Looking like that, you would wonder why anyone would come here for a holiday.
Looking from Dunk back to the mainland
Resort rooms missing their roofing
Hardly a room escaped the damage
The following afternoon saw us arrive at Fitzroy Island. Nice looking little resort, nice beach and very deep water outside the fringing reef. We arrived just as the wind was getting up to 30+kts and there wasn't much room left to drop anchor - obviously a popular anchorage. With the strong tidal current against the wind bullets, even monohulls were moving in opposite directions. With all the boats swinging every which way and as we were the last one to drop anchor, we upped and moved, this time on the other side of Tintin. Darkness, more tide, more wind, more swinging, Tintin now too close for comfort, we upped yet again! Third time lucky they say, however one of the worst nights for rolling and tugging at anchor so far on the trip. Next morning 0600 we had enough. Up anchor and a short 12 miles into Cairns. That short trip had winds of 40+kts, with a headsail out the size of a handkerchief we managed 8+ knots of boat speed.
Cairns - A week in Cairns and we anchored at the side of the main channel just opposite Marlin Marina. Tintin opted to go further up the channel and anchored - where we affectionately termed Swampville. You could almost hear the duelling banjos! or was that Jacki on her Ukulele. A week was spent here relaxing, doing odd jobs on board, provisioning for the trip to Darwin which necessitated some long walks through town to reach Whitworths. A big thanks to Deb and Brad Parker (ex Redland Bay) for the use of their car for our big Woolies shop and lovely to catch up with friends. We made use of the public pool on the waterfront for swims, along with teeming numbers of backpackers from every nation. We have both travelled reasonably far and wide however couldn't pick a lot of the languages.
Now to the point of the blog heading - North until the butter melts.
We have had rain, clouds, more rain, more cloud, more rainy days, strong winds since arriving in the tropics, however the temperatures have been relatively cool and the butter has not melted - yet! We are looking forward to when this event occurs and we can get rid of the blanket on the bed.