Our trip North from Lizard Island to Thursday Island was a real voyage of discovery.
It was the first time we had ventured this far North and we were amazed at the rugged beauty of the mainland, the tranquility of its welcoming bays, and the delightful anchorages in islands and coral cays.
We arrived at Ninion Bay on the mainland in a bit of a pickle. We had somehow got the “sock” that holds the spinnaker (the colourful light sail we launch when there isn’t much wind) twisted at the top of the mast.
Thankfully we could bring the sail down and into the sock but to get the whole thing down meant that there was nothing else for it – Jonathan would have to go up the mast to unravel the twist.
Slight problem, I had hurt my wrist on the way down from Mt Cook (it rained, wet rock, say no more) and wasn’t sure if I could winch Jonathan up. So we called our new friends Lesley and Phil on Pasifique who had arrived in the bay just before us.
Hoping for just a bit of help with the winch, we were thankful and a little amazed that Phil offered to go up the mast himself! Jonathan did not hesitate to say “yes please” as he would do almost anything than go up the mast himself.
Phil didn’t even need winching – he climbed up the same way people scale up coconut palms – using his arms and legs to haul himself up (he was in a bosun’s chair but didn’t use it at all!) With a quick flick he loosened the twist and zoomed back down in double quick time. Too easy!
That night after well deserved (particularly on the part of Phil) sundowners, Jonathan and I enjoyed a second helping of the large mackerel that Jonathan had caught on the way to Lizard Island with the tackle he had purchased in Cooktown.
He had cut it into eight massive steaks so we froze some for another time. It was delicious. Since then we have been give more fish (three lots) so we aren’t going hungry that’s for sure.
We had a spectacularly peaceful night, with none of the rocking and bouncing we had experienced at Lizard Island. The silence and calm of Ninion Bay will be a special memory of this trip.
The next morning we left a little later than the rest of the handful of boats that had spent the night there. We were very much hoping to see dugongs and our persistence was rewarded!
At anchor, around the boat we saw and heard a number of dugongs rise to the surface, take a a quick breath of air and duck down again but you could hardly see anything and I don’t think they would go down as “sightings”. However, as we slowly left the anchorage, we were thrilled to see a whole family of dugongs peacefully grazing on the sea grass in this beautiful bay