What a wonderful 10-days we’ve had, all because of a perfect weather forecast – gentle northerlies! Yes, they take us south, but it also meant we could reef-hop south from Cairns to Magnetic Island rather than via the familiar mainland anchorages.
We visited Michelmas Cay, Fitzroy Island, Sudbury Cay, and Brittomart, Walker and Kelso Reefs. Hot, calm days with plenty happening in the water below.
After a quick visit to Michelmas Reef, north of Cairns, we revisited Fitzroy Island for a night where I jumped in for a snorkel at Fitzroy’s Nudie Beach. What a surprise. There was abundant fish life, a variety of healthy coral, as well some areas with obvious coral regeneration projects happening. But there was a “but”. The water was very cloudy. Water clarity is something the outer reef trumps island fringing reefs on, big time.
Here’s a few photos from my snorkel at Fitzroy Island, followed by photos from my Sudbury Cay visit. The water clarity is vastly different.
Just before I get to my Sudbury Cay photos … I do need to mention we caught two Spanish Mackerel on the way to Sudbury Reef. Whoopee! A freezer full of meals. Both were over 80cm long too.
Sudbury Reef …
I also had fun chasing these Bluelined Surgeonfish. These are not photos of the same fish. They seemed to be around every corner. Their colours and stripes are stunning.
After a beautiful day at Sudbury Cay, we were ‘outta there’ at first light! We copped some very uncomfortable side-on westerly swell which had The Bossa rocking and rolling from side to side. Bang, crash and thump from 1 am. No sleep! 5.30 am and we were off!