After spending a number of days on shore at Cairns, we had been able to set sail once more for the Low Isles and Port Douglas.
Some highlights from this week’s crusing log had been exploring the Low Isles, recognizing our first wild saltwater crocodile in Port Douglas and swimming with reef sharks!
North to The Low Isles
The Low Isles are positioned roughly 35 nautical miles north from Cairns. It’s a preferred spot for folks to go to for snorkeling and exploring since it’s only a brief boat trip from Port Douglas.
We departed Cairns Harbour at first mild, and loved mild to recent winds from the South, which gently pushed Malaika North in direction of the tropical islets.
Exploring the Low Isles
The Low Isles is a small islet pair consisting of the smaller Low Island and a bigger adjoining island often known as Woody Island. Between the 2 is a shallow reef, with some components even drying above sea degree at low-tide.
Low Island has a well-known lighthouse, which some opportunistic Eagles have used to create a big nest in. There are additionally a number of buildings to accommodate everlasting caretakers, who’re paid by Queensland Parks to dwell on the island.
The truth is, Low Islands just lately bought some publicity for the commercial of this dream caretaker job in information shops throughout Australia. It undoubtedly wouldn’t be a nasty gig!
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: Snorkeling and Exploring the Tropical Low Isles, Port Douglas
Low Isles Anchorage Info
For sailors, there are a minimum of three blue Queensland Parks buoys which might be accessible for cruisers and sailors on a 24-hour foundation. We discovered that the very best ones had been the South-western most buoys since they provided the very best safety from incoming swell, which appears to make its approach by means of the center of the 2 islets throughout high-tide.
Snorkeling With Reef Sharks
The Low Isles was our actual first style of the actual Nice Barrier Reef expertise. All the islet is roofed with reef, most of which may be very wholesome. There have been big teams of Mackerel, hundreds of education fish and enormous, wholesome coral heads.
Nonetheless, we did discover that there was some bleaching, a tragic sight to see and a reminder of the horrific impacts of local weather change.
We had been additionally lucky to identify a number of blacktip reef sharks which determined to circle Malaika for a number of hours at our mooring.
Feeding Bat Fish
For sailors and even vacationers visiting the Low Isles by way of an organized boat switch, you’ll in all probability discover the native batfish, who method boats in hopes of getting a feed.
We had the identical two dangle round our aft diving platform throughout our whole keep on the Low Isles. Under are some pictures I managed to snap of them feeding on the floor.
Port Douglas Sure
In fact, the late July trade-winds started to rile up towards the tip of the week, forcing us to go again inshore in direction of Port Douglas a day or two sooner than deliberate.
However, crusing into Port Douglas was a rewarding and particular second for the crew, who knew that they had come as far North as deliberate for this voyage.
Port Douglas Anchorage
We had been informed of a number of council pile moorings which might be accessible alongside the channel into Port Douglas for as low cost as $20 every week. Nonetheless, as we entered, we knew it could be a little bit tight attempting to suit our 15-meter metal motorsailer into these tight house.
As an alternative, we motored previous the marina and crusing membership and looked for a spot to put anchor on the finish of the channel, deeper within the creek.
Right here we met a full of life character who lived on his “drink-aboard”, and helped us select essentially the most handy anchorage location, beer in hand at 11 am.
First Wild Crocodile!
Our first wild crocodile sighting, in Port Douglas of all locations! Lower than 50 meters from our boat, on the banks of the mangrove, was a 1.5-meter crocodile basking within the solar.
We had been fairly excited, so we took the tender for a better look in hopes of snapping some pictures.
Exploring Port Douglas
We had loads of time to discover Port Douglas, together with some quick hikes and testing 4-mile seaside.
It’s a loopy place and it’s straightforward to see why they picked it for the set of one among my favorite motion pictures; Fools Gold.
Working within the Mangroves
Because the trades had been being cussed, we determined that heading out to the reef and outer islands wouldn’t be the very best thought. As an alternative, we took the chance to spend a few days exploring Port Douglas and dealing within the mangroves.
After solely half every week, we had been lined in sand-fly bites, on a continuing lookout for crocodiles and greater than prepared to go again into bluer water. I don’t understand how the blokes dwell within the creeks on boats, however I’m certain the beers assist a bunch.