Double Cone and Grassy Island

The weather forecast was showing a decent northerly coming and Airlie Beach is not the place for that. No protection and decent wave action equals you or other boats dragging. That ain’t fun. So where to? Well we hadn’t yet been north of Airlie so north it was. It was a cruise ship day at Airlie so the big white monstrosity was anchored off Pioneer point. We began tacking back and forth for awhile in light winds then succumbed to the motor (are we becoming motorsailors??????).

Radha had his doubts about how comfortable Double Cone Island was going to be in regards to swell so we tucked in as far as we could considering the reef comes a fair way out here. Now we had not yet seen that many turtles on this trip, not like we see in Moreton Bay, but this place changed that. Double Cone is definitely a turtle habitat.

With the tide going out and the extensive reefy shore we had limited time to explore. But yes as soon as we landed we noticed all the plastic on the beach! Having not brought any bags to shore the best we could do was just pile it up over the high water mark. We then went over to the northern beach and saw the remains of a shipwreck right on shore and watched the cruise ship leaving, blowing all its thank you smoke all over Airlie…oh and a runabout deciding to play chicken with it.

Next morning was Radha’s birthday so it was pancakes for breakfast. While I made them he went off to check out the west island, and this is when the major rolling began. This was intolerable rolling, except we had hot pancakes to eat first! But we gobbled them down pretty quick trying to not let the maple syrup and butter slide onto the cockpit floor. Then up came the anchor and we were off to Grassy Island.

Ahh much better. This was a lot more protected from the swell. Now the wind sure did pick up the following day but we were tucked nicely away. A trip to shore to explore. And more plastic rubbish….and more turtles. Now we are not sure if this one died of plastic ingestion but it is a reminder that plastic does kill sea life.

Being suitable for northerly winds we were not sure if to stay a second night with a forecast of a southerly change occurring during the night. It was not meant to build though until the morning so we decided to stay. We did anchor out a little further to allow for the swing towards the reef. Everyone else left! So we were not quite sure if we had made the correct decision.

The change did come about and at around 4am Radha decided we would head off as it seemed the weather was setting in earlier than predicted. So up came the anchor and off we went back to Airlie nice and early in the morning. And yes it had been a bad blow. There was one motor boat whom we saw people were trying to right back up (we presume from the northerly) and then unfortunately Proud Mary had come to grief on the rock wall, not salvageable.

Provisions / Facilities:

Next post…. Border Island and Haslewood Clean-up

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