Back to the islands

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Sun 5 Jun 2011 10:52
Having had the best part of a week in civilisation--4 days in Cairns and 3 in Port Douglas--we are back at anchor off a small island--one of the Hope Islands--enjoying some tranquility--indeed this is the nearest we have been to the ideal pacific island since we arrived in Australia--beats the Whitsundays.
Both Cairns and Port Douglas are nice towns--Cairns much the larger, shoppers paradise-- Port Douglas more quaint--both lively places--restaurants and bars--Cairns a good place to provision the boat.
We hired a car in Port Douglas for a couple of days--drove up to Cape Tribulation--so named by Captain Cook (who else?) as he came cropper on a reef near there---and we went on a boat trip on the Daintree River to see the crocodiles--which indeed we did: these were "salties"--salt water crocs, which can grow to 7 metres long--not the sort of thing you want to find on a beach near you!!!
And in Port Douglas, we said goodbye to Michelle, who has been sailing with us since Airlie--we're back to two on board.
So to the Hope Islands, a peaceful anchorage, entered carefully between reefs, which I think will become the norm as we head north.
Tomorrow we sail to Cooktown--named guessed it. He came here in 1770 to effect repairs to his ship after his near-terminal encounter with the reef. Worth noting that, had he sunk, Australians would probably be speaking French!!
Cooktown will be our last town before Darwin--over a thousand miles away--whilst we will be sailing close to the Australian coast, and anchoring most nights, there's simply nothing there. Peace unlimited!