Morris Island 13 29.35S 143 43.37E

Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 11 Aug 2013 11:23
Under 14 degrees of Latitude so getting closer to the equator! It's been another long day covering 72.6 miles. It started with light winds and while that gave us a gentle and very pleasant sail of 4 to 5kts in a flat sea all morning, it wasn't what we needed to get here, Morris Island, in the light. So it's been another case of anchoring by radar and chartplotter in total darkness. The chartplotter and radar show there is an island ahead of us, but we can't see it! And we're not that far away - 700ft or so. It is only a small island - about a quarter of a mile long and 500ft wide, with just one tree on it - a solitary coconut palm, and uninhabited, so no shore lights. There is a little slither of a moon, but it's in the wrong part of the sky to shed light on what's ahead of us. So again, we will have to wait until morning to see exactly where we are. The cruising guide suggests this can be quite a crowded anchorage. As far as we can make out we are on our own again - there are no anchor lights and nothing has shown up on radar. The wind came up this afternoon and the forecast southeasterly became and easterly for much of the time, so it was down with the poles and up with the mainsail - haven't done that for a while! As our route is mostly taking us between the mainland and the Barrier Reef and it's islands, the sea is protected from swell and from fetch, so doesn't get the opportunity to get big. This was very much the case today with quite strong winds, but very little sea. Morris Island is 8 miles from the mainland and on one of the reef systems, so supposed to have quite clear water. When letting the anchor go it looked quite murky to me - will see in the morning. Although 8 miles from the mainland, crocodiles have been sighted here, so clear water or not, there'll be no swimming!