Day 10, Year 3: The Whitsundays-Butterfly Bay & Maureen’s Cove, Hook Island
Date: Monday, May 19, 2008
Weather: Gorgeous, But Cool
Latitude: 20 degrees 04.098 minutes S
Longitude: 148 degrees 56.233 minutes E
Location: Maureen’s Cove, Hook Island, Queensland, Australia
We finally made it into the water today and had no problem with jellyfish of any sort. We snorkeled in Butterfly Bay where we were moored this morning. It is not marked in the guide we are using as a snorkel spot, but there were lots of fish and coral. This is a marine park and there is absolutely no fishing allowed, so the fish we saw were larger than average. We saw many of the same varieties we have seen throughout the western Pacific, just bigger. I saw one three to four foot grouper and
a couple of Napoleon Humphead Wrasse that were about four feet in length. There were parrotfishes and wrasses of all kinds and butterflyfish, some familiar, some new. The coral was not particularly colorful, but there was a great variety. There were even a few large clams. The one thing that was missing was the little anemonefish. I didn’t find my obligatory anemonefish family, so I will have to continue that hunt tomorrow. Mark got cold and got out early but Gerry and Donna and I continued
to swim across the bay to a rocky outcropping separating our wing of Butterfly Bay from the other wing. The trip back to Windbird was a long one and all three of us struggled a bit with the current. We are obviously not in sailing or snorkeling shape yet, so we had to forego the afternoon snorkel. We did, however, move the boat to the bay next door, Maureen’s Cove. The move happened late in the afternoon as we were waiting for some of the large sailing boats that bring tourists out from Airlie
to leave the mooring balls. We can anchor here, but we are trying to use the mooring balls to keep from accidentally tearing up any of the coral. You are really only supposed to stay on the balls for two hours during the daytime, but if there is not high a demand, it seems you can get by with staying a little longer. We moved today at 3 pm so our two hours are up at 5 o’clock. But after 5:00, you can stay the night and not have to move until mid-morning. We will snorkel in this cove in the morning
and then move on to the next bay for the afternoon. If the snorkeling in this cove is really good, we might try to come back late tomorrow afternoon and spend another day here. Since this cove is where all the tourist boats come, I’m figuring there must be something special to look at underwater. Right now there is big sailboat named Boomerang anchored next to us. The deck was littered with young people when she came in and now they are all in the water. We’ve watched carefully where they snorkel and will trace their path in the morning to see what is there.
I had a strange incident today. Mark and I had both bought new dive masks while home and today was they first time we used them. Mark’s works great, but I struggled the whole time we were out today with water gushing in the mask. When I finally got back to the boat after being in the water for almost two hours, I took the mask off and looked at it. The entire rim around the goggles was cracked and crazed with parts of it missing entirely. It looks like someone took a hammer to it. Very strange.
It was wrapped in plastic and in the plastic case it came in until this morning. Neither Mark or I can figure out what happened to it, but I guess I’ll have to find a new one when we get to Cairns. I’ll definitely want a good mask when we get to Lizard Island in a couple of weeks.
I’m writing this log in the late afternoon and plan to send it as soon as the sun sets. Last night we waited until later in the evening to send the log and we could not get the email to go. We had to wait and send the log early this morning. I got up at 4 am to send the log, but still had radio trouble. So when Mark got up at 6 am, he discovered a couple of problems. There were some settings that had been accidentally changed on the radio and when he started the engine to boost power for sending the log, he discovered that we had a charging problem again. This time it was loose connections, but poor Mark worked all morning on one problem after another. We think we have the radio issue under control now, but we will be sending the logs earlier in the evening for a while just to make sure. We are now headed to the beach to watch the sun go down and do some bird watching. We will then have dinner on Scot Free II, so I’ll have to report on those things in tomorrow’s log.
|080519 Day 10 AU Hook Island, Whitsundays–Butterfly Bay & Maureen’s Cove|
|080519 Day 10 Underwater in Butterfly Bay|