9 PICTURE ALBUM
Monday, February 9
Steve: Today's weather again brought sunshine and moderate
winds - perfect for our last day of activities and a relatively easy ride
back to Cairns. We started with a fish around Irene Reef. We trolled from
the Rubber Duck, and brought up two Trevallys and a Shark Mackeral. Similar
to when we fish on the Cape, the trick when fishing on a reef is to look for
surface action and birds that are "working". We saw much of this
today, but each time we reached the area with the birds, the action seemed
to suddenly stop. This reminded us even more of several days on the Cape where
we have spent endless hours chasing the birds - it's great fun!
The total cruising time back to Cairns was going to take about four hours,
so we continued heading south with plans to stop back at Opal Reef for a snorkel
and lunch. Opal Reef is a protected area, which means fishing is not allowed.
This was immediately apparent as we saw numerous and very large Coral Reef
Trout. These fish are definitely used to divers and snorkelers, and let us
get very close. I think even I could have speared one of these beauties! The
trout that we saw other places would swim away as soon as they spotted us.
This was our last snorkel on the reef, which made us all a little sad. Seeing
the underwater life here is very special, and we hope to experience it again
someday. I am also very happy to see how much David and Katie have enjoyed
the snorkeling. It has always been one of my favorite things to do, and I
find it extremely fascinating and relaxing. David and Katie were extremely
comfortable in the water, and just loved seeing all the ocean life. At no
time were they scared, even when swimming with the sharks.
After enjoying Steph's cooking for the last time (stuffed ravioli!), we began
cruising back to Cairns. The ride was a little rough - the seas are still
being stirred by 15-20 knot winds - but not as bad as on our first day. Speaking
of winds, Peter and Steph told us that there's a cyclone warning in effect
for Wednesday and Thursday! They haven't had a cyclone here in several years.
I guess we can't call ourselves too unlucky
This evening we took care of some errands in Cairns before heading back to
the Ruben Jane for the night. We stayed on the boat in the harbor, with plans
for being picked up by a taxi at 4:30AM for our 5:30 flight to Melbourne (through
Brisbane). If all goes as planned, we should be meeting Paula at the Melbourne
airport at 12:30 when she arrives from Sydney.