Day 5 Cairns – Thursday Island

Sigining the guest book at the peak of Lizard Island

Latitude; 13°05.75’S

Longitude; 144°09.78’E

Distance run in the last 19hrs; 133.6NM

Average speed; 7KN

As the rescue boat rally’s back and forth taking the crew ashore on Lizard Island, the weather is overcast with the occasional glimpse of the sun. The wind is still Force 4-5 but we are sheltered and well protected where we are anchored.

The walk is steep and rocky to begin with and then once we are on the ridge, it is just a gradual incline. The Island has $1000 a night resort on it which seems a bit bizarre as the Island appears quite arid and dry, not full of the luscious greenery and palm trees that we have seen while sailing up the coast. Once we reach the peak and can see the blue lagoon situated on the East side of the Island all becomes more apparent why there is a costly resort situated here.

It takes us about an hour to reach the top and although slightly overcast, the scenery is spectacular with the sandy banks and reefs surrounding us. We bring a chart up and line it up on the plaque which has Cook’s passage indicated on it and we try to see if we can see the breakers on the reefs, as Cook tried to do.

Cook's passage

There is a guest book up there so most of us leave our mark, proud to be able to say that we are sailing on Endeavour. We start to make our descent as there appears to be a front coming in. The views are quite moving, as the realisation hits home just how privileged we are to be able to relive this historical moment.

When we reach the beach everyone take a moment to unwind and relax by swimming, walking or just sitting. The boat runs start back to the ship, as we aim to have everyone back on board to heave up anchor and leave by 1600 as we have another very important matter to attend to. We are going to be heading out of the reef 96.7NM to deploy two buoys that have been given to us by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As we approach the reef we only have a mile and a half clearance to navigate through at night, under sail, in the dark. Even with today’s technology to assist and guide us, it is still nerve racking, so much so all the officers are on deck working to ensure safe passage through into the outer reef. Once out past the reef, the swell picks up to 2 meters with a steady force 5
winds which picks up in the morning to a force 6. Endeavour is sailing along majestically doing an average of 6-7 knots.

All’s well.

Panoramic looking out to Cook’s reef

2 thoughts on “Day 5 Cairns – Thursday Island

  1. Hi All
    Sounds like a fantastic day was had by all and hope the passage through the reef was a great success. Pass on our regards to Kyle hope to see him in Darwin! Take care Nanette Jones

  2. Hi All
    I am a friend of David Jefferies and I am in awe of what I envisage as an amazing adventure. I understand that you are on or near Thursday Island. May father was stationed there in the war and it would be a place I would be interested in seeing. Sounds like you are having a very successfull and enjoyable trip. All the best. Regards Sue Lambert

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