Voyage of discovery

Our trip North from Lizard Island to Thursday Island was a real voyage of discovery. 
 

The anchorage at Lizard Island
 
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.

Leaving at first light

 

Another glorious sunrise!
 
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.

 

Overtaking Tashi Delek, a boat similar to ours, with its colourful spinnakar set well
 
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.

 

The Coast Watch Plane – they radioed each ship to find out what we were up to!
 
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!

 

The calm of Ninion Bay
 
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. 

 

Jonathan’s fish!
 
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.

 

Eating the delicious fish that Jon caught
 
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

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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