Marius Coomans and I had a really nice sail up from Bundaberg for a little over 50 nautical miles to Lady Musgrave Island. We had a perfect downwind sail for a little over half the trip (keeping us right on track), then after a rain squall passed us we got the predicted SE winds came in and we were on a nice reach which pushed our speed up to 8 to 9 knots the rest of the way. It was sunny when we arrived and we had some beautiful views of the island as we approached (see the slideshow below). Lady Musgrave is an atoll in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef.
There is a quite narrow cut into the lagoon giving access to the beautiful waters there. The island is a popular tourist destination and there were three tourist boats there when we arrived mid-afternoon. The tourist boats soon left and there was one other sailboat and a small fishing boat left for the night. It was blowing 25 knots of wind, so I decided to wait until the morning to get the dinghy or kayak out to visit the island or snorkel.
This is going to be hard to believe, but Marius is even more focused on getting an Internet connection than me! Yes, you heard that right…no one who knows me will believe it, but it’s true. He has a little antenna extender for his Telstra 3G device, but we couldn’t get a connection with just that at Lady Musgrave 30 miles from shore. So, he put the device in a sock (literally) and with some duct tape connected it to a rope so we could raise it on a halyard to the top of the mast. And, it actually worked! We had a thin connection to the Internet and could send E-mails and even load web pages. Wow!
Despite getting weather forecasts, we were surprised with rain during the night, and it was pretty ugly in the morning with rain and overcast. I had to miss my chance to go snorkeling, so we decided to leave after the light got bright enough to continue north. Next destination was Great Keppel Island about 100 miles away.