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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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
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