Had a lousy sleep last night – we may have been out of the current, but we were so shallow that the swell became waves under us. At low tide it was like being on a roller coaster – maybe not that bad, but for a couple of hours until the tide came in a bit we were miserable campers..
Decided to move on to Thomas Island. This is in the Lindeman Islands National Parks group.
To make the most of the ESE winds we came up the eastern side of Thomas. The seas were choppy, and while we made really good time, averaging 4.5kn, it wasn’t a pleasant sail. Just off the northern tip of Thomas Is there’s a small island, Dead Dog Island and just off that a huge rock called Fairlight Rock. Our route went between them. The book did say to watch out for ‘overfalls’ when the current is maximum, which it was … We went through the gap very fast! The swell was about 2 – 3 meters, breaking waves to the side of us, and we were being swept towards the rock. Fortunately just before we entered the pass Steve put the motor on and made sure we had control. We were relieved when that was behind us.
Our journey finished at ‘Naked Lady Beach’ ( true, that is its name). Around low tide we went ashore with oyster knife and bucket. Tonight for dinner I had four dozen black-lip oysters gently sautéed in coconut oil with a dash of tamari – heaven!
For an hour or so around low tide the boat rolled very uncomfortably – unfortunately this was just before dawn, so we both started the day less perky than usual. Fortunately it only got better from there on.
The book mentioned you could walk across the island from Naked Lady Beach. This little bay has to be the prettiest we’ve seen, and that’s saying a lot. We found the path and followed it through mangroves, melaleucas, grass trees and finally coming out to a tiny, rocky bay with a pumice-stone beach. It was so picturesque. Thoughtful previous visitors had constructed a driftwood lean-to giving great shade. They must have been builders – it was so well constructed using only driftwood and rocks. We sat in the shade under it for a while watching the crystal clear water lapping the rocks with the brilliant turquoise ocean beyond. It was pretty close to a spiritual experience.
To view more photos from our time at Thomas Island CLICK HERE.
Back to the boat we had some lunch and got ready to sail, catching the ebbing tide north again. Burning Point on Shaw Island was our destination. The sailing started very slowly with light winds, so light we motor-sailed for half an hour. Once we changed direction and cleared the island we made good time just sailing. A change of wind direction though meant our chosen anchorage wasn’t the best. A quick look at the book and we decided on Plantation Bay on Lindeman Island instead – good decision! It’s a very calm anchorage – no rocking and rolling. There’s just us and a catamaran here.
Full moon tonight – always spectacular when viewed from the cockpit of a yacht.