North Brocken Passage and Pipon reef — past Lizard Island — posted 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 one of the cays.
At the North Broken Passage the reefs barrier takes an unusual change of direction leaving the end of the reef facing north west to the open ocean. A group of protruding large coral boulders may remind you of England’s mystical Stonehenge; no doubt, the legacy of a powerful cyclone that had uprooted the huge chunks and thrown them around like confetti at a wedding.
Anchoring behind the reef on a sandy area just to the south of the boulders gives good weather protection from the normal SE trade winds. In front of the boulders a charter boat has conveniently tied a 50m long heavy rope to a bommie. If it’s still there and in good condition it’s handy to moor your vessel to and dive from. The reef’s edge is ideal for under water pursuits: a craggy deep drop off with a labyrinth of gullies and swim throughs and an abundance of marine life. It is excellent for photography whether it be macro or wide angle panoramas of elegant corals covered in sparkling Anthias. There is a kaleidoscope of reef fish, many pelagic, and the coral was superb when last visited in the winter of 2014. Here is your own ocean aquarium which has not much current to worry about when diving two hours either side of slack water.
P.S. Severe coral bleaching is just now occurring in our far northern reefs and this could affect corals in the places described in this blog post.
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