For the last three decades, I have dreamt of sailing my own boat into Watson’s Bay on Lizard Island.

The 360mt summit of Lizard Island is where Cook climbed too,  to find a way out of the barrier reef after rebuilding his boat, following a grounding on a coral reef 50 miles to the south.

From a cruising yachties  perspective, Lizard is very easy to get to from the south, the problem is getting back. The days with northerlies decrease the further north you get and the south easterly trade wind increase in intensity. Most yachties that get to it, talk of waiting weeks to get back south.

My eldest daughter Kate flew up to join me for a fortnight, there was a nice weather window to go north, so we decided to go for it. Worst case scenario, she could catch the small plane back, while I waited for the wind to abate.

First night we anchored at Lowe Islands, a coral cay with a light house0001-medium

Took the dingy ashore, for the 2-300mt walk around the island

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Kate found the 6ft sharks circling the boat disconcerting 001a-2

An hour after we anchored Alcandos with Steve, Evon and Mitchell arrived. I had struck up a conversation with Steve, 6mts earlier in Morton Bay. They invited us over for sun-downers drinks on Alcandos.001a-mediumWe woke to a glorious day 001b-mediumthen to make it even better,  we caught at 7.5kg mackerel.003a

luckily the next one got away, a fish big enough to bend a hook that big, would have been a handful to land003b-medium

We anchored that evening at Pickersgill reef, which had a small sand cay and a lighthouse031031a-mediumWe met the crew from Alcandos ashore for sun-downers032Boys being boys, Mitchell had to do some high diving 033

The next day, the wind came in and we had a quick sail to Cape Flattery039

Cape Flattery had a direct hit from Cyclone Ita in 2014 and Cyclone Nathan last year, which was obvious from the building ashore with no roof and windows040

and then there it was, sticking above the horizon LIZARD ISLAND041-medium042043-small043a-medium

we did the walk across the island to Blue Lagoon,

past the airstrip051aa1-mediumaa2-medium

saw a few of the goannas that Cook named the island after049

did the walk up to Cook’s lookout (an hour up and 50mins down)069-smallbb1 bb3-small

went over to the $2,000/night resort079-smallhad a drink in their Marlin Bar080 and watched the sunset081-2-medium

The cruising yachty  scene is very social, at 5pm everybody heads to the beach in their dinghies, for sun-downers drinks082a-small082b-small

We had a semi weather window to go south, 3 days after we arrived. 2 days of moderate easterlies, then strong south easterlies.

So very reluctantly we left Lizard zzzz-small

for Hope Islands.

Where every evening, hundreds of Pied Imperial Pigeons fly from the mainland, to roost for the night070-medium

By next evening we were back at Lowe Island, then Vlasoff Cay the following afternoon. Where Kate and I had a sun-downers to ourselves on the cay.99-medium

there was still 3 days of Kate’s visit left, so we went down to Fitzroy Island.

There was also a prawn trawler anchored there, who was more than willing to trade fresh prawns for beer.20-mediumWe did some snorkelling, the coral was very much the worst for ware, with hundreds of day trippers walking on it daily, but the fish where tamed due to all their exposure to people, resulting in some great fish photos21-medium2223-small24-mediumThen it was time for us too go back to Cairns for Kate’s flight home.

On the way we pasted a reminder of all the “stuff” city habitants are getting from China91