Thursday morning we were aboard Bev and Lloyds home, a 50 foot motor catamaran called Sea Eagle. It turned out that Lloyd and Vicki had not seen each other for 51 years so a lot of reminiscing took place.
Bev and Lloyd have lived onboard Sea Eagle for four and a half years and know the Whitsundays like we know our backyard. They picked us up with their tender at the Whitsunday Sailing Club where they anchor when in port. Then we shifted to the marina to take on fuel. From there we went to Hook Island to catch some fish.
Caught plenty of fish, sweetlip, red emperor, coral trout and a few other types. Lloyd had them filleted and boned very quickly, saving the carcasses for his crab pots. Once we had enough fish for a couple of meals we upped anchor and headed for Cid Harbour on Whitsunday Island. Cid Harbour is their home base, a beautiful and safe anchorage. Being a shallow draft catamaran they anchor close to shore. Arriving at Cid Harbour Lloyd decided to retrieve his crabs pots from where he had stored them in the mangroves and try and get some mud crabs. Taking the fish carcasses we headed of in the tender to set the pots. That night we eat freshly caught reef fish, absolutely scrumptious!
Cid Harbour is a popular anchorage and most night there are about twenty boats at anchor. Quite a few of these are charter boats that have to be anchored by 1600 hours, prior to a compulsory radio check in.
Friday morning was glorious in Cid Harbour. Very calm with lots of turtles swimming around. We had more fish for breakfast. Mid morning we upped anchor and moved to some reef to try and catch some more fish. We were not successful in this and Lloyd put this down to the fact that we had opted for comfort and were fishing out of Sea Eagle. He assured us that if we had been in the tender and directly over the reef we would certainly have caught fish. Moved back to Cid Harbour and Vicki and Lloyd took off for an oyster patch. About an hour later they returned with about five dozed shucked oysters. At mid afternoon there was enough water in the mangrove creek to check the crab pots. Unfortunately we had no crabs but there was a nice sized estuary cod caught in one pot. It was a bit much to expect to catch crabs at this time of the year.
Saturday we headed back to Hook Island for some more fishing. On the way anchored close to a reef and Lloyd took Vicki in the tender with a viewer to look at the reef. It got the better of me and I just had to dive in and have a snorkel. Vicki had never seen a living coral reef before and whilst the visibility wasn’t the best she was enthralled by the colour. We then went to Lloyd’s fishing spot at Hook Island and caught more fish. By now it was mid afternoon and it was time to set sail for the mainland to drop us off. That evening we dined with Lloyd and Bev at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Watching the sun go down from the sailing club veranda was a fitting end to a magic three days. Lloyd and Bev were terrific hosts and took delight in showing us their “backyard”.
Sunday morning and there is a strong wind blowing, in fact there is a strong wind warning for this part of the coast. Lloyd and Bev left this morning for Cid Harbour and we have just received an SMS that they have arrived and the anchorage is like a mill pond.