We spent the first couple of days here at Lizard Island cooped up on our boat. There was a lot of wind (25-30 knots) and rainy periods. Especially rainy on Monday night and Tuesday morning. But, the weather started breaking up on Tuesday afternoon.
Despite all this, I got some jobs done on the boat. On Monday I put on scuba gear and did some hull cleaning on Tahina. Because of a problem with the antifouling painting done on our boat in New Zealand (the anti-foul did not adhere properly to the new epoxy paint they put on), we have growth on any areas that have been touched or scratched in any way. Of course, the problem gets worse when I clean it, so I have been holding back from cleaning it for a while. Our performance has been getting slow, and there were barnacles on the bottom of the keels in particular. It took a while, but we are clear of the serious growth for now. And yesterday I cleaned the water-line at last. The water is MUCH warmer here than it was down south in the Whitsundays.
This is the last place we can get in the water safely now that we are in north Queensland. On shore, we wouldn’t dare get in the water here because of the salt water crocodiles. Lizard Island is far enough out on the reef that it isn’t a problem. Friends ahead of us have already seen crocodiles ont he islands they have been visiting. I’m not going to get in the water up there!
The three of us went ashore to get off the boat for a while yesterday. There’s a nice nature walk through the mangroves nearby that includes informative signs about the vegetation and wildlife. We also saw a new kind of flying fox (fruit bats) that are black in color and are quite musical noisemakers.
On the beach, were several other cruisers – some with kids. They took note of our young-looking daughter and invited her to come hang out with their kids. Trisha had a great time actually with them and later we went on the beach with the parents. They were all Aussie cruisers who regularly come to Lizard Island to hang out. It turns out they spent time last year with our friends on s/v Stray Kitty as well! We had a very enjoyable time talking to them and learning about the island. In fact, we ended up talking until after sunset. It was the most cruiser-like day we have had in a long time.
It’s 5 AM here now and the skies have totally cleared up. Beautiful milky way out there. I’m hoping to climb up Cooks Lookout today and take a 360 panorama. The view is supposed to be spectactular, and was named that because Captain Cook climbed the mountain hoping to find a way out of the reefs here (which he did).