Day 33, Year 3: Captain Cook and Football
Date: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Weather: Beautiful, Clear Day; Winds ESE 25-30
Location: Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

The earlier part of today was all about following in the footsteps of Captain Cook and the end of the day was all about “footie.” I’ll start with the latter and work my way back. Scot Free II, Rendezvous Cay, and Windbird had decided to visit the Marlin Bar at the resort on this island for Happy Hour this evening. What we didn’t know was that tonight was Game 2 of 3 of the State of Origin. I still don’t get the title, but the best of the best of New South Wales rugby players were playing the best of the best of Queensland players on television tonight and the bar at the resort was projecting this on a big screen. What we also didn’t know was that the son of Maureen on Munyana here in the anchorage is player #10 on the New South Wales team. So we were in the bar and we decided that we needed to stay for the game in order to experience one of Australia’s major cultural events. Because of Maureen, I felt bad that I wasn’t supporting the “blue team”-New South Wales, but here I am in Queensland and I had to support the “maroon team”-Queensland. New South Wales won game one in the series, but tonight Queensland won 30-0. So on July 2, the third and final game will be played and the champion will be decided. I think this is sort of the Australian version of the Super Bowl, but whatever, we got into the spirit and enjoyed it tonight. There were a number of college-aged kids at the bar from the Research Station here. These kids were all visiting from the University of Texas, but it made
me think back to the time when our daughter Heather was attending James Cook University in Townsville and came to Lizard Island to do some diving for pay. She would do shallow dives six times a day to count fish and get paid for it. Not a bad way to spend your college days!

Now back to the earlier part of the day. When we got up for the 7:30 am weather and 8:00 am radio net, we discovered that the anchorage had been basically abandoned. Seven boats left early this morning and that left just a few of us. Mark and I had decided to walk to the top of Mount Cook today, so after putting a laundry in to soak, we headed to shore and started the 2.25 kilometer hike to the top. After the Endeavor had been repaired in Cooktown, Captain Cook sailed her north to Cape Flattery and then took a small boat the “five leagues” out here to Lizard Island to see if he could view an exit passage through the Great Barrier Reef. It took us almost two hours to reach the summit and another hour and a half to descend. It was a tough climb, but it was definitely worth it. The views on the way up were spectacular and it was a good feeling to leave a rock we had carried from the beach below to the top to add to the stones left by so many others that have made the climb. We didn’t get to see the golden orchids that bloom here in the spring, but we did see a couple of spectacularly colored bird. One was bright yellow and the other had an iridescent green back and tail.

When we finally got back to Windbird, I completed the laundry I had started earlier and we went for an afternoon snorkel over the clam beds in the middle of the anchorage. This is our last chance to get in the water until we reach Indonesia, so we want to take every opportunity to dive in. After snorkeling I worked on doing a little cleaning on the bottom of the boat (Shhh! Bottom cleaning is not allowed in Australian waters.). And then it was time for Happy Hour. It was a great day and we look forward to more adventure tomorrow.

Note: Aqua Magic, Blue Marlin, and Nabob arrived today, along with three small cruise ships. There’s plenty of room for all of us, but we are selfishly hoping the cruise ships will be gone by tomorrow morning.

080611 Day 33 Climb to Summit of Mount Cook
Day 34, Year 3: Love 'em and Leave 'em
Day 32, Year 3: Beautiful Lizard Island