Ham reef cay is just one of the numerous patches of sand and exposed coral rock that pops up along my favourite 100nm edge of the GBR. This barmy day the pristine purity at Ham Reef was breathtaking. We anchored just 50m away over soft sand and leapt into the crystalline water, dog and all. The joy of being alive in our paradise blotted out all other life. These are the times and places that keep us cruising. Here also are fantastic sandbanks that run east/west toward the coast and dotted islands that make this whole area addictive adventuring. The remoteness makes for that free feeling, but it’s not entirely isolated. There is an aboriginal community at Lockhart River, freight ships travelling down the outer passage, plus a handful of yachts and fishers venture into these waters. Just a little comforting if things turn sour.

Ham Reef sand cay at half tide.
Our beach with neighboring Deery Reef cay in the distant background.
The coral rocks are spectacular
A bit of foto fun amongst the coral rocks with first mate and bosun….first class models 🙂

Deery reef cay and diving the edge.

Just one kilometre from Ham reef is Deery reef. Best anchoring is on the edge of the coral skirt some distance from a rough sand Cay, which is well above the high tide mark. Twenty plus green turtles had recently nested there. The coral was worth a dive; the usual suspects, our highlight was a coral cave full of ice fish and some beautiful flowering anemone.

The beautiful Colonial Anemone and Thorny oyster Deery in a delightful coral cave on Deery reef.

Creech Reef – explored for the first on our recent 100 magic mile cruise.

There is a narrow passage through the nearby reef, which doesn’t show on the charts. It’s one hell of a fly thru if you like high-speed diving. The sand cay here is too low to have an enticing beach. We enjoyed an overnight stay in calm conditions.

The Creech reef cay wasnt much but our bosun enjoyed the stay 🙂
Diving the narrow passage was uneventful

Lagoon reef – the northern end of the 100 magic miles.

We had been cruising past here for 11 years. Now with an approx position of a wreck, we were excited to be at last exploring. On day one, our expectations were quickly dashed. The bottom was 30-35m deep with crappy visibility. There was no chance of finding the wreck, just grey whalers darting in and out of the gloom and occasional pillars of long-dead coral rising to about 5m from the surface. Days two & three were better, and we found a lively dive location where a narrow gap on the outer wall allowed the ocean to breathe life into the lagoon. We enjoyed a couple of days of good diving. Boson had her first free dive, but she preferred the surface 🙂

Lagoon reef diving
Slug life at Lagoon reef.
Fun at Lagoon reef

For more information on this magic area, check out some of our other posts. We just spent time anchored around the sweet little pelican Island and exploring some of the adjacent sandbanks. I love it up here.

Click on the following to jump straight to the post

Pelican Island – inside the magic 100 miles. Click Here

On the sand in the blue. Lockhard River to Cape Melville. Click HERE

Tydeman reef and nearby sand cays . Click HERE

North Brocken passage and Pipon reef. Click HERE

Lockhart River for cruising boaties. Click HERE

To see all our boating and diving pics in Flickr click HERE

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once we publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.


  1. Hans Ole Clemmensen on 31 May 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Good on you Rob, love it. Wevarevstruckling in strong winds and rain of Cairns.

    • Robin Jeffries on 1 June 2021 at 9:29 am

      Yeah, I hear the weather has been unkind around Cairns.
      Hope to catch up when we get back in your direction.
      Rob and Syl

  2. Barbara and Paul Banks on 5 June 2021 at 12:27 pm

    As always magnificent photos and writing, don’t encouraged any more people to come out here, its to beautiful to be spoiled. That said I hope many people enjoy your site, and your talent.

    • Robin Jeffries on 6 June 2021 at 8:48 am

      Hey Aquasafari, thx for your encouragement. Hope to catch up soon. Cheers Rob

Leave a Comment