Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great Barrier Reef

While at Lizard Island we took the opportunity to day trip out to the outer reef with friends on their yacht, S/V Fearless.  Just when you think the water couldn't get any clearer, it did, with over 100 foot visibility. After a two hour motor sail, we picked up a mooring ball on the outer reef complete with two welcoming five foot reef sharks circling under the boat.   Included here are a few photos of the underwater delights we saw that day captured by one of the Fearless crew members, Brett, with his underwater camera. A few days later Brett would use the same camera to bop a shark on the nose that came in a bit too close for comfort.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lizard Island

Lizard Island was the venue for several momentous occasions during the week-long stay.  It was Liz’s birthday which we celebrated on the beach with ten or so other boats. The warmth and variety of gifts she received that evening was a true testament to the ingenious and artistic nature of all those travelers who helped fete her on her special day. Lizard Island will also go down in the "lesser" history books as the place where Dylan cut her first two teeth making her Dentist daddy one proud fellow.

birthday party on the beach
Scholarship in Watson's Bay

Lizard of thee island ( a species of Goana)
Captain Cook did not anchor here, but he did sail the Endeavors' pinnace out from the headland to look for the way out of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Oh the heaviness of heart that must have beat within his chest as he scaled the 500 meter peak (which now bears his name), to look for a break in the seemingly endless trap of shoal waters. The view for us, however, was fantastic but only because we have charts, chart plotters and GPS's out the nose!  The hike was on a mercifully cloudy day.  Dylan even fell asleep in her queen’s conveyance or baby backpack while I tried to tip toe down rocky crags and bushy heath. The anchorage was the first clear waters we've seen since New Caledonia (over two years distant) and the reefs bordering the island were full of surprises. You've seen those giant clam shells in curio/ shell shops all around Florida and Mexico.  Never have I seen a live one, not to mention thirty or more. Gigantic clams the breadth of my arms with colors unimaginable pulsing on the quivering fleshy borders of those undulating shells. 
enjoying the view from on top

amazing reef snorkeling was just a short swim from the boat
giant clam
Lizard Island, made famous by that intrepid fearless pioneering sailor who blazed the path for future generations to follow in her footsteps, cutting teeth and swallowing sand, oh and also a bit by that Captain Cook fellow...
our little captain