Friday, July 31, 2015

Bundaberg to Lady Musgrave

We left Bundaberg at around 00:30 on the morning of the 26th of July and motored north towards Lady Musgrave. We were at the tail end of a good weather window so there was a light north westerly breeze blowing and calm seas. 

The new sails and feathering propellers are great in light winds. We had to add motor power to keep up our boat speed, but we only ticked the engines over at low revs so we hardly used any fuel. Apart from a few fishing boats hunting along the edge of the marine exclusion zones we had the ocean to ourselves - no large ships or other yachts.

Sam took watch at around 0:600 with about ten miles to go to Lady Musgrave. Before I headed down to catch some rest I reeled out our fishing line on the off chance that something would take a nibble as the sun slowly rose in the east.

We took the long-way around the reef system to avoid the marine park and snuck in close to the southern edge to see if we could lure any fish out of the shallows. There were some small breaking waves on the reef flat, but we maintained a safe distance and hoped for the best. Unfortunately we lucked out despite Sam's fish dancing and we did not catch anything before we entered the lagoon.

Sam thinks she saw a whale near the northeast tip of the reef, but the rest of the crew didn't see anything. Sam’s next sighting - accompanied by the call "dolphins at the bow” - was accurate. We all rushed forward to watch a pod of dolphins playing off the bows of Lucey Blue. Eric was enthralled by the strange friendly fish that snorted and leaped out of the water and a lot of fun was had by all.

We entered Lady Musgrave lagoon about an hour before dead low tide and anchored near the island at the west end. 

What a beautiful place! Sure there was a southerly change coming and we would be locked down for a few days by 25 to 30 knot winds, but today the sun was out, the water was warm and we had reef to explore… 

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