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Wed 1st August - Lizard Island to Flinders Island

Passed Cape Flattery yesterday on way to Lizard Island!! Home page on my website shows Tatoosh Island with Cape Flattery LH at Pacific end of Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Lizard Island is part of the Great Barrier Reef and was where Capt. Cook spied a way out of the reef in 1770 from what is now named Cook Look(out). Cook Passage is actually quite small and to the SE. A larger pass further north is Two Mile Opening - used by big ships. I saw 3 this morning, turning after entering the area but then saw no other boats all day until I came in to anchor tonight.

Shortly after leaving Lizard Island in the dark, well before 5a.m. this morning, I was puzzled by the relative position of the Pleiades in relation to the 'belt' of Orion- until I realized that Orion was standing on his head...!! There was a lovely, bright, full moon still visible at sunrise - good colour contrast.

As I left, there was excellent wind for a time, but it then died somewhat & turned rather flukey, added to which my change of course put the wind dead astern.... so I was forced to motor-sail for several hours to ensure making my intended anchorage before dark. Not always much choice of path through these reef-ridden waters! In fact, the wind came up this afternoon and I had a short but enjoyable sail around dramatic, gigantic-boulder-strewn Cape Melville, which meant I made a further anchorage
- Flinders Island: lovely scenery, highlighted by a beautiful sunset as I was anchoring. I did 82mls in all, today!

Around midday (high water), I was passing through a vast expanse of seemingly clear water - but there was a big area of reef just below the surface. This is where the Gt Barrier Reef curves around to the NW & comes closer in to land.

At last, today, I benefitted from an excellent amount of favourable current for a change, as I headed N - I wonder if it's the effect of a W-going Equatorial Current, which must pass N of Australia if it's present.

Tomorrow, I'll be up at the more civilised time of 5.30a.m., instead of today's 4 a.m., ready to be well away by 6 a.m., just before sunrise.

Written by : Mike

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