Hope Islands to Lizard Island
Wed 15 Jun 2016 02:12
Early start next day and the plan was to get to either Cape Bedford or if we made good time Cape Flattery. There was a nice 10-15 knot South Easterly blowing so out came both the genoas on the same side and we sailed a lovely broad reach. The course involved negotiating a lot of large reefs so we opted to stay on the edge of the shipping channel. The wind picked up and we picked up speed as the sea built up. We were making 7-8 knots so decided to try for Lizard Island. The forecast was for winds up to 30 knots for the next few days so the chance of heading into a sheltered anchorage was too good to miss. We arrived at Lizard Island at 5.15pm and as there were already 3 other yachts there we had to anchor right out. The wind was now very strong and as Lizard Island is high it was gusting down the mountain, the wind generator sounded like it was about to take off as during the night gusts were reaching 30+ knots, but there was no swell in the bay. Not a lot of sleep was had!
Next day we dingyed into the gorgeous white sand beach and swam in the crystal clear sea (this is definitely more like ‘paradise’). The wind was still blowing 30 knots plus but the beach was relatively sheltered. Sundowners followed with the other yachties at the Marlin Bar (the only part of the exclusive resort open to ‘plebs’ and it is only open 3 days a week. We discovered that 2 of the other yachts were booked on the Sail Indonesia Rally so we are all travelling the same way. We also discovered that a stay at the ‘exclusive’ resort would set you back 3,600 $AUD a night!!!!! That is of course plus airfares.
We decided that with 30+knot winds forecasted until the end of the week and the fact that Lizard Island is a little piece of paradise that we would sit it out for the week (tough!!!!). So Monday we did the hike up to Cooks Look 359 metres above the bay. Following in the then Lieutenant James Cooks famous footsteps up the craggy granite path to the summit where views of the Outer Barrier Reef are stunning. From this point Cook could see a way out through the Reef (now named Cooks Passage), he took this route and very soon realised that the dangers of the sea the other side were enough to send him quickly back in – he preferred the challenges of the reefs and relatively calm shallow seas to what he had seen on the outside (wise man, I’m with him on that one!)
The other yachts had decided to leave (30+knot winds????) but it meant that we could anchor in closer to the beach and a little bit more protected from the dreadful gusting winds, definitely a good move.