Lady Musgrave … where do I start?
We left GKI with Easy Tiger at daybreak in order to make the high tide at the shallow crossing in The Narrows – Gladstone (you can’t get through without the high tide). With an ambitious thought overriding the sensible one which was staying the night at Gladstone, we sailed on to the next anchorage at Pancake Creek.
‘Ambitious’ because it meant we would arrive at Pancake Creek in the evening, dark. Two days’ sailing squeezed in to one. Which we did, without incident. It saved us a night and with a fantastic weather window in sight, we were eager to get to Lady Musgrave as soon as we could.
So … instead of an original planned two nights at Lady Musgrave, we got four nights. We were excited!
And we were not disappointed. Four days of hot, calm, sunny weather in the most beautiful and idyllic location we have visited so far. Simply stunning!
After our seven hour, 45 nautical mile motor-sail, we arrived at our first ever coral cay. Lady Musgrave is part of a group of coral cays in the Bunker group of islands. A small sandy and treed island sits at one end of the coral cay with extended reef surrounding a large lagoon. It is one of the few coral cays that offers an entrance in to the lagoon it surrounds.
With much intrepidation, we slowly entered the Lady Musgrave entrance. A memory that will stay with us for a long time. The water was a deep blue, glassed-out calm and so so so clear. Coral, fish and turtles were either side of us. And then the lagoon opened up, revealing a palette of so many different shades of turquoise.
We kayaked in crystal clear waters over white sandy bottoms. We walked around the sandy shores of the island. We snorkeled in clear turquoise waters among coral, tropical fish and turtles (I mastered the art of dinghy snorkelling). We fished. We swam. We explored. And sometimes we just gazed in awe of the lagoon water’s colours.
We did not realise it, but we were very fortunate with our timing to Lady Musgrave. While the gentle winds, clear skies, warm water and neap tides were a priority, we also found ourselves arriving in turtle and bird nesting season. Green and loggerhead turtles were mating in the the waters around us, with some making their journey up the sand in the dark to nest. We saw their tracks quite clearly in the sand in daylight hours so we even ‘turtle watched’ in the evening hoping to catch a glimpse (over a wine or two).
Lady Musgrave is a small, sandy and treed island. A short walk around it. The pisonia trees cover the island and only grow in these coral cays. Trees that we hadn’t seen before. They create a dark canopy with little light getting through. The walking tracks were a hype of activity with the black noddy birds prolific with their activity and their nesting in the trees above and around us.
Our four days at Lady Musgrave has been the highlight so far on our trip north. Spending our time there, sharing those memories with Leanne and Steve on Easy Tiger, also a treat. We will visit again and hopefully introduce it to our friends and family in years to come. It’s all about the weather!
One of our special moments at Lady Musgrave … turtle watching at dusk.