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Explore, dive, photograph, fish, kite surf and decompress on Australia's remote northern Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea

 

Anchoring to dive on the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea — March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 2, 2016

Our anchor is very happy in mud, but there is no dirt in the Coral Sea; this makes anchoring to dive on the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea more challenging. Here it’s all about living coral, dead coral, sand and rubble made from crushed and broken coral, plus rocks formed from compacted coral sand.…

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Flinders Islands – 80nm past Lizard Island — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 2, 2016

   When the winds pick up to 20—30 knots, sitting comfortably in the Owen Channel is a good place to be. The Flinders group of Islands are a very quiet national park. The actual main Flinders Island does have camping facilities but they are very seldom used. A superb walking trail on Stanley Island  leads to…

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Tydeman reef and nearby sand cays — past Lizard island –posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 2, 2016

Anchored behind Tydeman Reef’s substantial sand cay you are a mere 20km from Cape Melville. This is as close as the outer GBR ever gets to the mainland over its entire 2,300 km length. So close that you could easily explore the cay then high tail it back to Pipon or the Flinders Islands for…

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North Brocken Passage and Pipon reef — past Lizard Island — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 1, 2016

Pipon Reef is a reasonable anchorage in 20-25 knot south east trade winds. At high tide, take your dingy over the top of the reef where you will find hundreds of turtles and an occasion indifferent dugong feeding on the small crustaceans.   The scant remains of two light house cottages from the past are on…

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Howick Group East — past Lizard Island — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 1, 2016

Now, try straying just a little east of Ingram Island. Stapleton Island is home to many thousands of marine birds on a well developed grassy cay. It is an amazing sight watching them buzz around their eggs and chicks like swarming bees. You will find Sooty, Crested & Caspian Terns, Noddies, Boobies, and maybe some…

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Howick Islands — you have past Lizard Island — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 1, 2016

Forty nautical miles past Lizard Island brings you to 15 plus fascinating little Islands and cays waiting to be explored. Most have an exposed sandy patch on their NW corner at the low half of the tide, so it’s easy to land via dingy after anchoring nearby. Ingram Island is a central point to fan…

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Getting past Lizard island and the Cod hole — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 1, 2016

A little excitement  builds as you reach iconic Lizard Island, 50nm North of Cooktown. The fabulous anchorage of Mrs Watson’s Bay usually has 5-20 boats parked within. A more protected and beautiful place is hard to imagine; a perfect location to relax and meet like-minded boaties. It’s magical beach, and clear water are very enticing.…

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Boat and equipment for exploring the reefs — March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 1, 2016

Boat Flash Dancer  Our boat is a  Lightwave 14m Power Cat      with 160hp Volvo engines and has suited our purpose well. When the conditions are right we can fast cruise at 12 to 14 knots, however, more often than not we travel at a more sedate 7 to 10 knots. It is a reasonably stable vessel…

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Getting past Lizard island-it all starts at Cooktown — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | Mar 1, 2016

I was asked to write a guide about cruising the next 80nm north of Lizard Island. It is a largely ignored region with wonderful areas to explore. However where do I begin? Cooktown is the obvious place; it’s the last town in which to provision. So, enjoy a walk up Cooktown’s sprawling main street where…

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