Touring in a Tropic Paradise
1,000 Kilometres on a 14 Foot Catamaran

Alexandra Bay to Thursday Island 
Far North Queensland, Australia

Part 1

By Jesse Martin with Kim Miller
 

 
We're on our way at last. Heading off to the middle of nowhere on the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest and most beautiful marine park.
 
Did I tell you that the fish just jump into the boat whenever you get hungry? Not.

That's me on the left, Beau holding the fish, Dad holding the camera.

We soon learnt about cooking fish.

 
Just in case you don't believe about the crocodiles, here's Beau holding our dilly net. A crocodile decided to have a go at it.

Because of the danger of saltwater crocodiles we did not camp on the mainland much. We hopped between islands and coral cays which were safer for camping.

 
This is our camp at Cape Bedford, just north of Cooktown.
 
Here we are at Lizard Island. Lots of boats make it this far, not many go further north. We went right to the top of Australia.

Lizard Island is home to some of the best black marlin fishing in the world, as well as being the greatest diving place ever.

Beau is sleeping on the boat. The Lizard Island Resort costs more than $1,000 per day. Sleeping on the boat is cheaper but you have to cook for yourself.

 
View from above
Beautiful water, a never ending supply of fresh fish, and no school. What could be better?

That's Beau on the left, me on the right.

 
View from below
This is Beau. I am over on the left of the picture further away from the camera, speargun at the ready.
 
"That's not a knife, this is a knife!"

Dad always wanted to be like Crocodile Dundee, this little shark is as close as he got on this trip. 

Come over for dinner and you will see a man eating shark.

 
Drying out the stuff in the boat. You can see the lid off the hull locker on this side. We had lots of room in there, as long as you like eating rice.
 
This is some of the Aboriginal rock painting that we saw at the Owen Channel near the Flinders Island Group. There are pictures of turtles, fish, dugongs, & ....

There was no way we could tell how old the paintings were. Some of them must be very ancient.

 
It looks like clear weather out there, but something is coming up that is making me look a bit worried.
 
Then the weather hit. Suddenly it was getting rough, and there was Dad taking pictures. We thought he was supposed to be steering!!
 
But mostly the sailing was calm and peaceful over flat water among beautiful islands and coral cays.
 
Fish for dinner tonight...
 
And another night...
More fish for dinner
 
This sure looks like hard work. Soon I suppose we'll have to go fishing.
 
Here I am with some of the kids from the Lockhart River Aboriginal community. This was a fun stay.
 
Here we are stuck on a reef. The water can be shallow, depending on the tide, and it is easy to get stuck. Trouble is, that coral is hard and sharp and the boat can get damaged.
And this is the result. We had to take the mast down and turn the boat upside down, then start filling the gaps with repair resin.

I'm holding the gap open while Dad stuffs the goop inside.

 
This is Forbes Island. Another of Australia's tropic paradise islands.

It needs a fresh water supply.

 
Getting stuff from the boat at sunset. They sure know how to turn on the evening lights up this way.
 
Another tropic sunset. We never got used to it. All too soon it would be time to go home to Melbourne. No tropical sunsets down there.
 
    The tip of Cape York at last!
     
      The sign says:
      YOU ARE STANDING AT
      THE NORTHERNMOST POINT
      OF THE AUSTRALIAN
      CONTINENT
It's a pity there wasn't somebody else there to take the picture so we could have had Beau here as well.
 
Time to unload the boat and head for home.
The Map of The Journey