On to Cairns

Mostly trade wind weather, which means SE 15-20 knots or more most of the time, great for making progress north but not so good for finding a calm anchorage. Not calm enough to stop at Russell island, so we had to go on another 20 miles to Fitzroy Island for the night. A pleasant place but extremely busy with day trippers, boats going to and fro the whole time as it is really close to Cairns. Walked round to Nudey Beach, billed as the #1beach in Australia – some of the others might disagree with that, but a pleasant place for a swim. The marina at Cairns is large with good facilities (and full of trip boats), the friendly manager, on learning that we are headed north, reckoned that everyone in Cooktown and onwards is a hillbilly, or an outlaw. Well we’ll find out, if the water is deep enough to get in there. Cairns is very much a tourist place, every just about 4th shop is a travel agents, tourist agency selling various trips, then there are the souvenir shops (didgeridoo anyone?), loads of bars, restaurants and cafes, some big hotels and posh jewellers too. At the Harbour we were amused to see jet ski crocodile watching trips advertised (a cruiser friend thought it was absolutely fine if crocs ate all the jet skis! We stocked up with food, water, diesel etc and did chores e.g. an engine oil change. The sun came out today (raining earlier in the week), it was very warm and we went the short distance to Double island just off Palm beach.

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