After dropping the boys 5 nm from our anchorage we continued on and anchored, deployed the flopper stopper, only one was needed as the weather was calm and only necessary as we know from experience that the swell develops later in the evening. The boys arrived back for some fresh bait and a few beers before heading out again. We directed them to a reef a mile behind us that is well known by local fisherman.
The boys returned at sunset with a small shark and a mackerel which fed us all for dinner. Next morning the boys had disappeared again before we got out of bed but returned for lunch and Alan then took Nathan out and they caught a 9kg & 12kg Tuna and lost 3 others. Out again until well after dark but sadly only caught little stuff. After an early night, again they surfaced and took off fishing early, this time they had a ball catching 9 Northern Blue Fin Tuna Tuna and loosing a few more. Exhausted by 10 o’clock they were back on board and we decided to move on which gave them time to recover on the 68nm trip past Cape Bowling Green in perfect weather and we anchored in Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island at 8.30pm.
Next morning Nathan and I went for a fish and caught a couple of mackerel that were filleted and in the freezer real quick before taking Brendon ashore with me to pick up a few extra supplies at the small corner store at Horseshoe Beach. I took him to the pub, sad for him it was shut:(((!!
From here we motored the 40nm to Orpheus Island where we picked up a National Park mooring and continued with our jobs before relaxing on the bow with sundowners and awaited their return.
Early next morning we left for the 22nm trip out to Bramble Reef. Today was Justin’s 28th Birthday and he was allowed to pull the first fish of the day not long after leaving the bay. It was an 8kg Mack Tuna, what a start to the day for him.
It was a perfectly calm day to be at the reef and we anchored on the edge in 20m water. The boys took off in the tinny again and fished the day only returning for food, things haven’t changed over the years!!
On the foredeck with a cold Bundy Rum we were enjoying the near perfect sea conditions when the VHF radio sprung to life with a Pan Pan call!! My ears picked up and we waited to see if they gave further information, but No the radio waves were silent! I answered the call and found that the vessel was a 6m runabout on Bramble Reef! Seeing we were the only other vessel out there it was simple to figure out! Their motor had failed to start and seeing they intended to stay the night out their I sent the boys over in the tinny to tow them closer to us for the night as we weren’t returning to Lucinda until tomorrow and this was where their trailer was. They came over to use our phone to call their wives and then returned for the evening.
For Justin’s Birthday feast I cooked up some of our cray supplies from the freezer and then for dessert I had baked a Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Torte.
After dinner Justin was hell bent on catching a mother of a fish, so with live bait on, he relaxed back in the tinny with pillows and a beer and waited. The scream not long after told us he was hooked, the fight went on for 20mins before we pulled in a 1.3m 10kg Reef Shark.
Next morning Nathan and Brendon picked Robert up to take him spear fishing with them.
They had an amazing time catching a painted cray and several other reef fish. After lunch with their tinny in tow we left and went back to Lucinda. Turns out that Robert is a Nordhavn dreamer and we reckoned that he made the motor inoperable just to get the ride back!!!
Alan towed them back across the shallows and into the creek at Lucinda while the boys and I motored up the Hinchinbrook Channel
We stayed in Gayundah Creek for a few days and the boys came back with Mud Crabs
and after finding a lure stuck on a rope in one of the side creeks they caught an amazing 12 Barramundi, all on the found lure.
They always had 3 other lures out but it was the ‘found’ one (Classic F18 -shallow diver) that caught the fish!!! So after Brendon caught 3 we suggested he pass the lure around.
The devastation in the area was widespread and looked as if a bulldozer had gone through the area in parts. The rest of the area was whipped apart with a huge amount of leaves missing off trees.
Travelling north past Cardwell and Dunk Island the sight was no better, as they were the worst hit by Cyclone Yasi. You can see the tree across the hut on the shore at Dunk Is, so sad!
We made our way to Mourilyan Harbour where we had a peaceful night, the boys went up the river fishing and missed another big!! Barra, so the story goes and then did a garbage run to the boat ramp over near the loading dock.
Next morning we left and went to Fitzroy Island where the fishing adventure continued with them catching some large Spanish Mackerel by going to the northern side of the island.
It is only 15nm from Cairns and after some more early morning fishing we went into Cairns where the boys and Alan flew into gear with washing 2 weeks of salt off Opal Lady. It was Good Friday and seeing we have lived off the sea for the past 2 weeks we booked into the Waterbar and Grill for a thick juicy steak. Having not been near a pub they were eager to check out the local ones along the water front, but as it was a public holiday they weren’t allowed to serve alcohol to anyone that didn’t have a dinner reservation and they then made their way to Waterbar and awaited our arrival.
Sad to say that the following morning after wrapping their Barramundi in loads of newspaper and packing the bags we farewelled them in a taxi for the airport. A fabulous 2 weeks for them and us!!!
To see all the photos go to ” Photo album” page.