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Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 26, 27, 2012 Fitzroy Island and then Cairns

We survived the second night at Dunk Island a little more comfortably than the first; were up and away at first light. Light I suppose is a relative term because we mostly had rain and clouds overhead, but enjoyed a good push from the wind nearly making it all the way to Cairns.  Realizing that would be a stretch, we aimed just east of Cairns for Fitzroy Island – another of the islands that hosts a resort, yet welcomes day-trippers.  We dropped the hook east of the public wharf where ferries and other large craft deposit visitors from the mainland.  By the time we showered and dressed, darkness had dropped its black curtain over the sun.  The water was very choppy and the air quite cool, so we conned our foul-weather jackets for the splashy ride in. As we dinghied into shore, not having much light, we could not see that shore as it were was actually coral. We "ouched" our way barefooted, dragging the dinghy up onto a sandy patch, grabbed our shoes, and sought a place to clean off our feet and roll down our pants legs (well, mine anyway…Frank always wears shorts). My jeans had gotten soaked at the fold near my knees where I'd rolled them, so when I pulled them back down I had a completely soaking wet 6-inch ring around my knees. It looked pretty funny, but I acted as though I didn't notice the strange glances coming my way. We dined at an outdoor restaurant/bar area that closely resembled so many beach bars at resorts in the islands of Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu.  The food was a BBQ buffet that offered an amazing variety of MEAT. Good thing we aren't vegetarian because there was no other option for dinner. Casual guests are apparently not permitted to dine in the resort restaurant. Anyone who knows us would understand this didn't bother us one bit. There was a salad bar as well – but veggies??? Forget about it!  We enjoyed our dinner and although there was also music, we had sailed a long day to get here, so after we absolutely gorged ourselves at the buffet we headed back home to Destiny under (finally) clear blue, star-studded skies. Returning to the boat I brewed us some tea and we sipped as we watched the stars sparkle wildly above.

May 27, finally we faced a perfect morning, which by my designation means sleep in until 8 and enjoy a leisurely 12-mile sail into the mainland port of Cairns.  We arrived in the marina around mid-day, allowing for a slack tide approach into the berth. It was a cakewalk for Captain Frank. In fact he maneuvered us so expertly that the large motor yacht in the adjacent berth told us we are the very first boat to come in there without hitting him! Scallywag was already there. We paid a quick visit with Paul and Glor and then set off to explore the marina and to get checked in. This marina is NICE. The boardwalk along the water’s edge is chock-a-block with good restaurants, shops and tour operators. This is one of the main terminals for travelers to get hooked up with a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef (The Reef).  That night we walked into town for dinner at a wonderful Indian Restaurant on the Esplanade with Paul, Glor, Keith and Christine (from S/v Achates).

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