No single vessel could ever hope to fully explore this amazing and remote area, but it's been a delight to experience so much of it. I'll keep blogging over the next year or so to tell many of our coral cruising stories from the past and present; plus provide as much useful information as I can. I will show dates on destination stories because conditions may have changed since I visited. Negative events such as cyclones, coral bleaching, Crown of Thorns starfish, moving sands , etc can cause rapid deterioration , alternatively, when conditions are good places improve and can turn from ugly rubble to become beautiful and pristine . This wilderness is forever changing. 

Buoy Moorings Townsville to Lizard Island — updated 2017

By Robin Jeffries | 6 April 2016

Using buoy moorings Townsville to Lizard Island. Prevent coral damage—improve safety—access diving & snorkelling hot spots near population centres. When cruising FNQ, everybody wants to spend some time in the water—on the reef. Whether it’s scuba, hookah, free diving, or snorkelling, we all love to experience that unique outer reef world close-up. The biggest impediment…

Reaching the end of The Great Barrier Reef — Bramble cay — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | 24 March 2016

In 2011 a dream came true–I reached the very top end of the Great Barrier Reef. Here is my account which first appeared in “Club Marine Magazine”. As a young man, I had visited the ‘start’ of the  Great Barrier Reef at its southern tip at Lady Elliot Island. My curiosity was awakened, and a…

Diamond islets — Coral Sea — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | 19 March 2016

Who wouldn’t like to cruise to a group of deserted Coral Sea Islands without leaving the comfort of Australian waters? In the spring of 2013, we spent 18 days on our 14m cat visiting the four pristine Diamond Islets, located 500 kilometres northeast of Townsville. Below is our account that was published in the Australian…

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

By Robin Jeffries | 2 March 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…

Tydeman reef and nearby sand cays — 2015-2019

By Robin Jeffries | 2 March 2016

Tydeman Reef and cay 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…

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

By Robin Jeffries | 1 March 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…

Howick Group East — past Lizard Island — posted March 2016

By Robin Jeffries | 1 March 2016

Stapleton Island 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…

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

By Robin Jeffries | 1 March 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 Ingram Island is a central point…

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

By Robin Jeffries | 1 March 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.…

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

By Robin Jeffries | 1 March 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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